Aug 30 (Reuters) – Nickel smelters in top producer Indonesia are making rare purchases of ore from the Philippines to ease tight supplies, people familiar with the matter said, upending trade flows of the raw material and pushing up costs across the supply chain.
Jakarta recently delayed the issuing of mining quotas and suspended operations at a key site of state miner Aneka Tambang (ANTM.JK) (Antam) after an investigation into corrupt practices in issuing mining allowances.
While mining at other sites continues and Indonesia, which accounts for half of global mined supply, has said there is no shortage of ore, prices have risen about 8% this week, following a 10% surge a week earlier, local buyers say.
Some firms are now buying ore from neighbouring Philippines, the world’s No. 2 supplier, in the event that new mining quotas are further delayed, said three smelter managers, two nickel traders and a Chinese analyst.