Indonesian Ban Hindering China’s Nickel Pig Iron Industry Growth

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The Indonesian ban on exports of mineral ores is now threatening “‘growth in China’s nickel pig iron industry’ Australian nickel miner Western Areas Ltd said on Monday,” reports Reuters.

“This could prove a boon for nickel miners in places like Australia who blame the proliferation of nickel pig iron production for a prolonged downturn in nickel prices and stand to pick up supply contracts with Chinese buyers.”

“‘Calendar 2013 was China’s biggest year in nickel pig iron volumes,’ said Western Areas Managing Director Dan Lougher. ‘The net effect now is that should be capped and that represents about half of China’s demand for nickel.'”

“‘The ban should curtail any new investment in nickel pig iron plants in China,’ Lougher said.”

In metal prices news for stainless steel and nickel…

The cash price of primary Indian nickel rose 4.8 percent on Monday, January 13, making it the day’s biggest mover. After two days of falling prices, it closed. The spot price of nickel rose 2.4 percent on the LME to $13,675 per metric ton after a two-day drop. Following a two-day drop, the 3-month price of nickel increased by 2.2 percent on the LME to $13,715 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row.

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For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held flat. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil was unchanged. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap continues to hover for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese primary nickel flattened after two days of downward movement.