SMM网讯：作为印尼第二大镍生产商，淡水河谷（Vale SA）印尼子公司日前表示政府允许矿石出口的政策不仅损害了镍矿的价格，还阻碍了投资者对新建冶炼厂的投资。淡水河谷（PT Vale）印尼公司的总裁Nico Kanter 称：“考虑到印尼的镍矿是非常有价值，我们非常担心”，并在周三的电子邮件中表明政策的变动已经导致一位对淡水河谷冶炼厂有意投资的候选人退出项目。
而政府对此不以为然，认为政策所造成的影响是十分有限的，并为这项政策辩护。国家能源和矿产资源部煤炭矿产的负责人班邦·加特奥·阿里奥诺（Bambang Gatot Ariyono）表示，过去几周镍价的反弹已经可以证明政策的影响是有限的，并于周三在雅加达对记者表示，“到目前为止，没有任何迹象表明镍价的下滑是受到了政策的影响。事实上，镍的出口量也就约40万吨左右，远远低于810万吨的上限”。
Vale Says Indonesia’s Nickel Policy Has Hurt Prices, Investment
By Yoga Rusmana and Eko Listiyorini
(Bloomberg) -- Vale SA’s Indonesian unit, the country’s second-biggest nickel producer, attacked the government’s policy of allowing ore exports, saying the move has undermined prices and deterred investment in new smelters. The government says the impact is limited.
“We are extremely concerned, considering Indonesia’s nickel ores are extremely valuable,” PT Vale Indonesia President Director Nico Kanter said by email Wednesday. “This is not in line with the government’s vision of creating added-value.” The policy change spurred a potential investor in a planned Vale smelter to withdraw from the project, Kanter said.
Indonesia was the top supplier of mined nickel, used in stainless steel, before halting shipments in 2014 to develop its smelting industry and retain mineral wealth. The nation eased the ban in January, allowing smelters to export surplus ore with less than 1.7 percent nickel, and issued permits for 8.1 million tons, although actual sales have been limited.
“The amount of 8 million tons should not be underestimated because it reflects around 4 percent of the world’s nickel supply,” Kanter said. “The government issued permits for exporting 8 million tons of nickel within around seven months. This has sparked concerns that the government will issue more permits to allow the export of nickel in the next five years.” Low nickel prices have been hurting producers in the country, with about 13 smelters halting operations this year.
The companies want prices to stabilize at least around $11,000 a metric ton for two months before resuming work, Jonatan Handojo, vice chairman of the Indonesian Processing and Refining Industry Association, said last week.
The government has defended the policy. A price rally the past few weeks has shown the impact is limited, said Bambang Gatot Ariyono, director-general of coal and minerals at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.
“There’s so far nothing to indicate the decline in nickel prices is because of the regulation, and anyway exports have not been that big,” Ariyono told reporters in Jakarta Wednesday. Only about 400,000 tons have been shipped, far less than the 8.1 million tons permitted, he said.
Nickel is up 23 percent in London since hitting a one-year low in June, meeting the common definition of a bull market. The metal, boosted by demand for stainless steel in China, traded at $10,800 a ton Thursday.
Although the amount of ore exports is low, it has prevented prices from rising more, Kanter said. Allowing shipments has also made foreign investors less inclined to build smelters in Indonesia because they now have greater supplies of ore, he said.