Jan. 8, 2014

Indonesian Ban May Boost Nickel Prices in 2014
 
Events in Indonesia are clouding the picture for nickel heading into 2014, say analysts for Roskill Information Services, a London-based market research firm. On Jan. 12, the Indonesian government was set to enact a ban on exports of unprocessed mineral ores. Indonesian nickel ores accounted for approximately 59 percent of China’s nickel ore imports in 2013.

Though the ban's effect will be muted by some underlying factors, the price of nickel should increase through most of 2014, Roskill predicts. That will be a change of pace for the material, which has seen its price soften over the past three years as a result of a worldwide supply overhang.

Roskill expects the export ban to be temporary. In the longer term, a forecast demand growth of 3.9 percent, combined with the slow advancement of major projects, will result in a rebalancing of the nickel market by 2018. That rebalancing, and the higher prices that will accompany it, will be necessary to support the next wave of nickel projects, Roskill says.


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