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Indonesia issued nickel ore exports investigation result

Nov 27– Indonesia on November 22 reiterated the rules on nickel ore exports and issued a list of companies who have smelter projects in progress, appearing to put an end to its inspections into ore export rules violations that began in late October and caused temporary export suspension.


This came after the government explicitly allowed nine companies to resume nickel ore exports earlier this month.


Except for the nine companies, all the Indonesian nickel ore exporters who have smelter projects in the pipeline, under construction or completed were included in the latest list, which also showed the statues of smelter construction.


The document did not explicitly state that which companies are allowed to resume nickel ore exports, but stipulated that only exporters that hold export permits approved by the trade ministry and valid export quotas approved by the energy and mineral resources ministry and the status their smelter projects passed official reviews can 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 customs.


Chinese nickel ore importers are expected to see only about 60 vessels return from Indonesia this month, with some vessels carrying no or fewer than originally planned nickel ore due to the sudden investigations.


While Jakarta seems to have given a nod to a broader recovery of nickel ore exports, fears of unexpected disruptions prompt some Chinese importers to give up the plan to ship more ore out of the top nickel ore producer, with a little more than one month to go before the export ban goes into effect. Only a few large traders plan to dispatch a small number of vessels to Indonesia, SMM learned.


Data from China customs 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.


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