Indonesia Past ‘Point of No Return’ in Ore Ban, Nickel Up

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Nickel rose for the first time in a week after an Indonesian government official said the ore-export ban will be maintained. Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of the mined metal, according to Bloomberg News.

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Edi Prasodjo, a director at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, told a conference in Jakarta that the country was at the “point of no return” on the policy, implemented in January to help develop domestic smelting. Nickel will probably advance next year as the rule boosts costs and the market shifts to a supply deficit, Jim Lennon, a senior consultant to Macquarie Group Ltd., said at the gathering.

The Philippines have actually been giving Indonesia a run for its money in nickel ore production since the ban went into effect, so the shortage may not even exist at all.

The cash price of primary Indian nickel closed as the biggest mover for Wednesday, September 24. Switching from a downward trend, the metal closed at INR 1,059 ($17.35) per kilogram following a 1.7% increase. The spot price of nickel rose 0.4% on the LME to $17,130 per metric ton after a two-day drop. The 3-month price of nickel is back up, rising by 0.3%on the LME yesterday to close at $17,225 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 8,300 ($1,353) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly continues hovering around CNY 145,000 ($23,632) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

For the fifth day in a row, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $1.26 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held steady at CNY 26,000 ($4,237) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,400 ($2,673) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,624) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap was unchanged at CNY 16,400 ($2,673) per metric ton.

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