Indonesia to stop nickel ore exports immediately

31, Oct. 2019

JAKARTA, NNA - Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board and nickel miners have agreed to ban nickel ore exports with immediate effect.

The sudden move has brought forward an earlier decision to terminate its shipment in January 2020.

The government and nickel producers made the joint effort in order to protect and boost smelter processing and refining industry in the Southeast Asian country.

Bahlil Lahadalia, head of the investment coordinating board, stated that the problems faced by smelter companies are very diverse, with limited raw materials as one worrying concern.

As international nickel ore prices have climbed higher than domestic purchasing prices, businesses would rather choose to export ore directly, hence making it difficult for the smelter industry to obtain raw materials.

According to data from the London Metal Exchange, the international nickel price in October 2019 is $16,680 per ton, while the price of nickel set by Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is $14,900 per ton.

Bahlil Lahadalia, who was appointed in the new cabinet last week by President Joko Widodo, said the only solution was to stop nickel ore export altogether.

The government will work with the relevant parties to crack down on any illegal exports.

Indonesia is currently the world's main nickel ore producer. From Jan-Aug 2019, Indonesia's nickel ore exports reached $517.8 million, up from $394.9 million during the same period of 2018.