Australia is ‘no longer competitive’ in nickel: producer – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review -January 11, 2024)

The biggest nickel producer on the ASX says Australia is no longer competitive in the sector and its miners will never attract a so-called green premium for their product.

Nickel Industries managing director Justin Werner issued the dire warning with more than 1000 jobs in the balance in Australia after a plunge in nickel prices and forecasts Indonesia will flood the market with supply for years to come.

Sydney-based Nickel Industries operates mines and has a growing footprint in downstream processing plants in Indonesia in partnership with Chinese billionaire Xiang Guangda, the founder of Tsingshan Holdings, one of the world’s largest nickel producers.

“We are in a very low-price nickel environment, and it is exposing the unfortunate truth that from a nickel perspective, Australia isn’t competitive any more,” he said. Ratings agency Fitch said it was further lowering its 2024 nickel price forecast to $US20,000 a tonne – down from $US20,600 – based on the supply glut, weak demand from China, and a limited growth outlook in other major markets

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