The nickel market is starting to get some clarity on exactly what the changes to Indonesia’s ore export rules will mean, and it isn’t as bad as first thought. In what Credit Suisse analyst Matthew Hope says “looks a lot like rapid backpedaling,” the country estimates ore exports will be comparable to smelter capacity and may reach 5.2 million tons, “which it neglected to say at the outset,” notes Hope. That would mean only about 60,000 tons of nickel will be added to global supplies–still a negative for the market, but a volume that would mean a smaller deficit rather than a return to surplus.


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