China Hurt Most by Indonesia’s Move to Keep Nickel at Home (Bloomberg News – January 13, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia’s pledge to be more than a raw-materials supplier is set to pile pressure on China’s steel to electric vehicles industries that are already grappling with rising cost volatility.

The Southeast Asian country said Wednesday it’s studying a progressive levy on exports of nickel pig iron and ferronickel that could be imposed as soon as this year. Concerns about lower shipments from the world’s biggest nickel supplier sent the London Metal Exchange benchmark surging to the highest in more than a decade.

That risks increasing costs for Chinese stainless steel mills — the top users — as well as joining a raft of commodities that are becoming an increasing headache for battery makers as prices climb.

Indonesia has played a key role in global markets as a bulk materials supplier, but President Joko Widodo has pledged to eventually stop exports of all raw commodities to turn the country into a major manufacturing hub for electric transportation.

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