SHANGHAI, Jan 18 - According to foreign media, Indonesia's Deputy Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs, Septian Hario Seto, said that the government may start imposing export duties on NPI in 2022. Seto said a 2% export tax, or $300/mt, would be possible if nickel prices were above $15,000/mt, and that the tax would increase in proportion to nickel prices. The tax is intended to encourage nickel miners to process the product before shipping it overseas, otherwise Indonesia's nickel reserves will be quickly depleted. LME nickel prices pulled up to around US$22,700/mt immediately after the news was released.
Since Indonesia banned the export of nickel ore in 2020, the country has become the main supplier of NPI to China. During January-November 2021, China's total NPI imports amounted to 3.39 million mt, representing a year-on-year increase of 9.22%. Among them, the amount of NPI imported from Indonesia stood at 2.85 million mt, an increase of 15.15% year-on-year, accounting for about 84% of China's total NPI imports. Once Indonesia's export tariff is raised, it will greatly increase the costs of NPI imports in China.