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Jakarta Post

Nickel smelters suffer with production boom

  • Fedina S. Sundaryani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 22 2017   /  12:32 am

The effects of a government regulation permitting the extension of mineral concentrate exports continue to hit the nickel industry hard, with more than a dozen nickel pig iron smelters halting operations due to low global prices.

Global nickel prices on the London Metals Exchange (LME) initially hit US$9,660 per ton immediately after the regulation was issued in January. Prices declined to a one-year low of $8,680 per ton last week for three-month nickel and were marked at $8,975 on Monday.

This has caused 13 smelters with a combined production capacity of 750,000 tons of nickel pig iron per year to stop operations, according to the Processing and Smelting Companies Association (AP3I).

AP3I deputy chairman Jonatan Handojo declined to disclose the names and locations of the smelters, but said several of the smelters were ones that had started operations but were for...