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Indonesia shows no signs of relaxing the ban on exports of unprocessed minerals, meaning no resumption of flows of nickel ore to China's giant nickel pig iron (NPI) sector.
Antam also plans to build a smelter for Nickel Pig Iron (NPI) with a processing capacity of
Output at new mines around the world is rising, but the principal reason for the rapid increase in nickel supply over the past two years is the expansion of Chinese nickel pig iron output, spurred on by the huge investment in new low-cost rotary kiln electric furnaces.
In addition, supply will be bolstered by the steady growth of nickel pig iron in China.
Elsewhere in the base metals complex, trade data into China showed a sharp rise in the imports of low grade nickel ore, as China's nickel pig iron production appears to be ramping up.
The Brisbane-based company produces both nickel pig iron (NPI) and merchant pig iron (MPI) at its plant near the city of Linyi in China's Shandong Province.
Several reports have noted that China, a major consumer and producer of stainless steel, is using nickel pig iron as a partial substitute for refined nickel or ferro-nickel to offset the higher nickel prices.
And nickel pig iron output presented the most rapid growth.