Philippine nickel output seen growing at about 8% a year (Business World – January 8, 2020)

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NICKEL production is expected to increase by over 8% a year in the next few years despite policy uncertainty that could limit project development, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said in a report.

“We expect Philippine production to continue rising over the coming years although high levels of policy uncertainty could constrain project development, posing downside risks to our forecasts. We forecast nickel production to average 8.6% year-on-year growth over 2020-2028,” Fitch Solutions said in its industry trend analysis published Jan. 8.

It said that the Philippines will regain its spot as the mineral’s top producer due to Indonesia’s nickel ore export ban, which took effect this year. Indonesia hopes to accelerate the establishment of domestic smelters to capture more value than the current practice of exporting ore.

The United States Geological Survey said in a report in February that Indonesia produced 560,000 tons of nickel in 2018, taking the top spot, followed by the Philippines with 340,000 tons.

Fitch Solutions said that most of the Philippine supply will come from SR Metals, Inc., Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc., Nickel Asia Corp., and CTP Construction and Mining Corp. Of these, Nickel Asia will remain the top producer on the back of its Taganito and Cagdianao mine operations.

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