Indonesia Restarts Nickel Ore Export

Japanese largest ferronickel maker, Pacific Metals confirmed by Monday the ore import vessel left Indonesian port on Saturday while Indonesian ore export was stopped since early May. Stainless maker, Nippon Yakin Kogyo also confirmed the resumption of the ore export from Indonesia by Monday. The restart of export from Indonesia after stop for one and half months would contribute to normalizing the ore supply. However, Japanese nickel ore buyers would diversify the ore sources when Indonesia will stop ore export in 2014.

The buyers apparently prepared for potential stop of ore import from Indonesia by building ore inventory. Nippon Yakin Kogyo secured ore requirement through June. The ore supply suspension from Indonesia would have no impact on their operations when Indonesia normalizes the export.

Pacific Metals depends heavily on Indonesian ore for the ferronickel production. The firm imported 2.5 million tonnes of ore in 2011, of which Indonesian ore represented 49%. The firm tries to increase the import from suppliers in Philippines and New Caledonia while the firm tries to secure new sources in both countries. The firm also seeks potential exploration of nickel mine in Philippines and New Caledonia to secure the ore stably.

Japanese nickel ore import was 3.65 million tonnes in 2011, of which Indonesian ore represented 53%. Indonesia. Indonesia will stop ore export in 2014 under new mining law started in 2009. The ministry of energy and mineral resources announced in February 2012 the country would stop the ore export in 3 months. The country finally allowed the ore export for eligible suppliers with official mining right and value adding plan while the country added 20% export tariff for ore export. During the procedure, the country stopped the ore export.