Metals News
LME WEEK 2019: Ramped-up nickel ore supply from Philippine unable to fill supply void

SHANGHAI, Nov 5 (SMM) – Nickel miners in countries like the Philippine and Australia will boost production in 2020 when Indonesia bans ore exports, but this may still not be able to make up the ore supply gap, according to Norman Ting, Managing Director of Top Resources Group.

As Indonesia seeks to process more of its ore resources at home, its output of nickel pig iron is set to expand, which means more Indonesia nickel units will move to China in the form of NPI; this will impact China’s nickel downstream sector of stainless steel, Ting said in an exclusive interview with SMM at the SMM London Metals Seminar last week.

The market also worried about the possibility that Indonesia's export ban spread to other metals on the raw material front, for instance, bauxite, Ting added. 

He believed that a supply disruption of bauxite will push China to find alternative sources of imports, given limited availability within the country. 

“China’s imports of bauxite kept growing over the past decade, and imports in 2019 are likely to exceed 100 million mt.”

Talking about cobalt and lithium, Ting had an optimistic outlook for their long-term prices despite current weakness, as he expected more stimulus from major consumer China to boost demand from the new energy vehicle sector. 

Ting also believed that the supply of cobalt ore, especially from major producer Congo and other African countries, should be closely monitored in 2020. 

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