About a dozen newly constructed nickel smelters in Indonesia have stopped operations due to a plunge in nickel prices while others are operating at a loss, an industry association executive said on Monday.
Thirteen smelters with a combined capacity of 750,000 tonnes of nickel pig iron a year “were forced to cease operation” because nickel prices reached as low as around $8,000 a tonne, Jonatan Handojo, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Smelter Association told Reuters, declining to name the owners of the smelters.
Three-month nickel touched a one-year low of $8,680 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange last week and is down more than 10 percent so far this year. The metal was trading at $8,975 per tonne on Monday at 0800 GMT.
There are 12 other nickel smelters in Indonesia which have been able to carry on producing, but they have suffered from losses, Handojo added.
Indonesia enacted a policy in 2014 restricting nickel ore exports that fostered the construction of new smelters.
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