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Jakarta Post

Indonesia projected to lead in global nickel production

  • Viriya P. Singgih

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 9, 2018   /   06:02 pm
Indonesia projected to lead in global nickel production A worker walks past bags of minerals belonging to mining company PT Vale Indonesia in Sorowako, South Sulawesi. (JP/Ruslan Sangaji)

Growth in global nickel production is expected to accelerate in 2018, driven by Indonesia's ongoing recovery since 2017 and a rebound in production from major markets such as Australia, Canada and Russia, according to Fitch Group think tank BMI Research.

BMI Research has forecast global nickel production growth at an annual average rate of 3.5 percent in the 2018-2027 period, slightly slower than the average rate in the previous 10-year period. It expects global annual nickel production to reach 2.9 million metric tons by 2027.

“The best-performing country in terms of nickel production growth during 2018-2027 will be Indonesia, as output there continues to recover following the moderation of its export ban in January 2017,” BMI Research stated in a report published on Thursday.

Output in Indonesia will reach an estimated 480 kilotons in 2018, up 20 percent from the 400 kilotons in 2017, according to the report.

It also says Indonesia will benefit from the situation in the Philippines, where nickel production is projected to remain muted in the coming months as a result of an ongoing open-pit mining ban imposed in 2017.

“This development will increase the rate at which Indonesia regains part of the Chinese market share it had previously lost to its neighbor, following the imposition of its export ban,” the report states.

Subsequently, Indonesia’s average production is expected to grow 8.1 percent in the 2018-2027 period, outperforming all other global nickel producers by a significant margin. (bbn)