On Thursday, the Philippines ordered the closure of 21 mines, and seven others could be suspended. The country previously suspended nickel mines last year. The nickel mines recently ordered to shut down account for about 50% of the country’s annual output.
Nickel Prices Rebound
Nickel rose sharply on the news. Over the last few weeks, nickel prices were struggling to make headway as investors feared that the easing of the Indonesian export ban would bring more ore supply into global markets.
Now we have two factors, Indonesia’s easing of its export ban and the Philippines’ shutdowns, that could drive prices in opposite directions. However, as we explained recently, the mining shutdowns in the Philippines are likely to be a greater driver of prices.