Column: Indonesian tax will shake up the nickel export mix again – by Andy Home (Reuters – August 5, 2022)

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s planning to reshape the global nickel market again. The country is the world’s largest and fastest-growing producer of nickel, used in both stainless steel and electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

It banned the export of nickel ore in 2020, forcing its mining sector to build out processing capacity. The huge flows of ore to China’s stainless steel mills have been replaced by shipments of nickel pig iron (NPI) and ferronickel.

The Indonesian government is now planning to tax exports of both products to stimulate more investment in domestic stainless steel capacity. However, as stainless and battery nickel processing streams start to converge, it is equally likely the tax will tilt the Indonesian product mix further towards nickel as a battery input.


Indonesia’s nickel boom was initially defined by China’s hunger for ore to process into NPI as a stainless steel input.

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