The nickel price is expected to remain under pressure up to (at least) the second half of 2018 due to the structural oversupply in the world market. So far this year the nickel price has fallen 9.38 percent to USD $9,080 per ton (London Metal Exchange). Analysts of the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. say nickel - used in stainless steel - is the worst-performing metal so far this year.
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Official data show that in 2014 China, the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals, imported the lowest amount of nickel ore since 2010. Apart from slowing economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy (China’s economic expansion having eased to 7.4 percent year-on-year in 2014), falling nickel ore imports are also caused by Indonesia’s ban on exports of unprocessed minerals (implemented in January 2014) and monsoon rains in the Philippines (limiting production and seaborne trade).
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At the start of 2014 Indonesia introduced its long-planned export ban on raw mineral ores in a bid to strengthen the domestic economy by reducing its dependence on raw commodity exports and instead forcing miners to process their raw ores domestically before exporting is allowed. Being an important global supplier of certain ores, this new Indonesian rule (stipulated by Law No.4/2009 on Coal and Mineral Mining) has a considerable impact on global markets and prices, one of which being nickel.
The global nickel price declined 5.1 percent on Tuesday (09/09) after it became known that the Philippines would not implement a ban on exports of this commodity yet. Similar to Indonesia, the Philippines was preparing to implement a ban on exports of unprocessed minerals in an attempt to boost revenues (by exporting mining products with added value). However, it may take seven years before such a policy is implemented. This implies that the occurrence of a possible shortage of nickel on the global market in the coming years has diminished.
Shareholders of Vale Indonesia, Indonesia's largest nickel producer, approved the proposal to allocate USD $6.7 million to general reserve and to distribute final dividend of USD $0.00252 per share. The dividend - equivalent to USD $25 million in aggregate from Vale Indonesia's net profit - will be paid on 31 May 2013. Indonesian shareholders will be paid in Indonesian rupiah based on the Central Bank's mid rate on 17 May 2013. Non-Indonesian shareholders will be paid in US dollar.
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