Philippine Miners Not Keen on Indonesia Nickel Alliance Plan – by Manolo Serapio Jr. and Ditas Lopez (Bloomberg News – March 14, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — A plan by top nickel miner Indonesia to create an OPEC-like group to coordinate supply would not benefit the Philippines, the No. 2 producer, according to an industry group.

The Philippines mined a 10th of the in-demand metal that’s used in electric vehicle batteries last year, according to the US Geological Survey, and mainly exports nickel ore to China. That’s well behind Indonesia, which accounted for almost half of global output, and floated the idea of a producer alliance late last year.

“If prices of raw materials go up, then they will feed into prices of finished products, which we import, and it will hurt us so much,” Dante Bravo, president of the Philippine Nickel Industry Association, said in an interview. “I’m not a believer in a controlled market.”

Indonesia Proposes ‘OPEC-Like’ Grouping of Nickel Producers

Indonesian Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia said last month that he plans to travel to major nickel producers including Australia, Brazil and the Philippines to promote the alliance. He may face an uphill battle though, given that a major mining association in Australia and Canada’s trade minister have also said they’re not keen on the idea.

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