MetalMiner Editor Lisa Reisman recently took a higher reading of the “Risk-O-Meter” for the likelihood of the Indonesian raw material export ban. Here, MetalMiner’s lead forecasting analyst Raul de Frutos examines price implications of the ban and specifically addresses questions that nickel buyers should be asking.
How big is the impact of the export ban on China?
Today, nickel pig iron (NPI) accounts for around 45% of China’s primary nickel consumption. To produce NPI, China needs to buy a type of nickel ore called laterite ore. China almost completely relies on imports from Indonesia and the Philippines, with Indonesia representing 55% of total laterite imports.
Doing the numbers, we can estimate that around 25% of China’s primary nickel consumption is in danger.
Where will China source its nickel requirements if it sees the Indonesian export ban go into full effect?