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Report: Covid-19 Cuts Global Nickel Production

Report: Covid-19 Cuts Global Nickel Production
October 26
17:13 2020

2020 global nickel production is expected to decline by 7.4% to 2,195 thousand tons (kt).

Temporary suspensions of mines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the advancement of Indonesia’s export ban, are expected to be major contributors to decline, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

Indonesia’s 2020 mine production is expected to fall 15%.

Vinneth Bajaj, GlobalData senior mining analyst, said Indonesian nickel mining companies have had trouble selling output to domestic smelters at low prices alongside inadequate capacity.

“Therefore, domestic miners have been either halting or curbing their output in the first three quarters of the year and this is expected to continue over the rest of 2020.”

Mine production in the Philippines is forecasted to fall by 9.3%, due to dual challenges of COVID-19 and weather disruptions.  In April 2020, Nickel Asia Corp. and Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. suspended operations in the Surigao del Norte province, where most of the country’s mines are located, due to the COVID-19.  Operations resumed in May with safety protocols.

“In contrast, despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, production in New Caledonia and Brazil is expected to collectively increase by 6.9% in 2020,” Bajaj said.

For 2021-2024 global nickel mine production is expected to recover at a growth rate of 4.2%.  Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines and Canada will be the key contributors.


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