Indonesia Moves Up Nickel Ore Export Ban to Start of 2020

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Indonesia shook up the nickel market, announcing that it will move up its planned nickel ore export ban by two years.

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Indonesia announced that its export ban on nickel ore will be advanced to Jan. 1, 2020 — two years ahead of the initial deadline.

With an additional 25 smelters set to open — on top of the 11 existing smelters — the country plans to reserve nickel stockpiles, currently estimated at between 600 million and 700 million tons, for downstream domestic production. Indonesia’s nickel ore reserves total around 2.8 billion metric tons.

The Jakarta Post reported the ban comes as the country aims to bolster the development of domestic smelters.

In July, the Indonesian government’s reassertion of plans to impose the export ban sent nickel prices rising, MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns explained.

Now, however, miners have until the end of the year to execute exports of nickel ore from Indonesia.

JFX Announces Physical Tin Contract

In other news from Indonesia, the Jakarta Future Exchange (JFX) in Indonesia will launch a new physical tin contract.

As noted by the International Tin Association (ITA), the new contract is backed by the country’s top tin producer, PT Timah.

According to the ITA, the addition of a physical tin contract does not help private smelters.

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“While the option of a different trading contract is interesting, this does not help private smelters, who remain unable to export due to regulations set by the central government, rather than by one of the country’s exchanges,” the International Tin Association said. “The switch of exchange may have caused the decline in refined tin exports from last month, with sources close to Timah citing export license renewals as the cause of the issue. With a new license seemingly acquired, it is likely that material — stockpiled in the interim — will be released to the market.”

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