SHANGHAI, Nov 27 (SMM) – Indonesia, the top nickel ore exporter, has issued a new list of companies that have ongoing smelter projects and are allowed to export nickel ore. The move signifies an end to the inspections of ore export rules violations in late October which caused a temporary suspension of exports.
The Indonesian government allowed nine companies to resume nickel ore exports earlier this month. Except for the nine companies, all Indonesian nickel ore exporters who have smelter projects in the pipeline were included in the latest list.
The document did not explicitly state that which companies are allowed to resume nickel ore export. But it was mentioned that miners that has nickel ore with less than 1.7% NI content, exporters that hold export permits (approved by the trade ministry) and valid export quotas (approved by the energy and mineral resources ministry) and smelter projects that passed official review are allowed to export nickel ore with less than 1.7% Ni content.
Companies on the list can resume nickel ore exports after they receive the green light from the energy and mineral resources ministry and Indonesian customs.
Chinese nickel ore importers are expected to see only about 60 vessels returning from Indonesia this month, with some vessels carrying no or fewer than originally planned nickel ore due to the sudden investigations.
While Indonesia has eased nickel ore exports, fears of unexpected disruptions prompted some Chinese importers to abort shipping nickel ore out of Indonesia before the export ban goes into effect. Only a few big traders plan to dispatch a small number of vessels to Indonesia, SMM learned.
China customs data showed that China imported 3.11 million mt of nickel ore from Indonesia in October, shrinking 6.2% month on month but soaring 130% year on year. Most imports of Indonesian nickel ore were high-grade materials even though Indonesia does not allow exports of ore with more than 1.7% Ni content.
List of companies