Nickel industry to hike prod’n

Published December 8, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Philippines’ nickel industry is eyeing increase in production and prices for next year on the back of rising demand from China, the world’s largest stainless steel and electric vehicle (e-vehicle) producer.

Danto Bravo, president of Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA), the organization of some of the country’s largest nickel mining companies, said that the Philippines, one of the highest mineralized countries in the world, will benefit from the decision of Indonesia to stop exporting nickel ore.

In September, the government of Indonesia, the largest nickel producer globally, announced a planned nickel ore export ban from 2020 to 2022.

“Because of Indonesian export ban, there will be ramp up in production and export. There will be increase in the supply of ore to China,” said Bravo, who also serves as the president of Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc., the third largest nickel ore producer in the Philippines and the largest single lateritic mine exporter in the world.

There’s going to be a gap of 20 million metric tons (MT) that needs to be filled up, Bravo said.

As a result, he said the Philippines will try to keep up and production for next year should be higher by 40 million wet metric tons (DMT), which translates to 26 million metric tons (DMT).

“We can’t supply all of China’s demand so the price will increase too for next year,” Bravo further said.

Last year, the country’s nickel productions stood at 25.91 million DMT. For this year, PNIA forecast a slightly higher production of 25 million DMT to 26 million DMT.