Higher global nickel prices to benefit Philippines
“Hopefully, prices will continue to be good in 2021. The best news now is all economies in the world are reacting to China’s third quarter GDP (gross domestic product),” Philippine Nickel Industry Association board member Isidro Alcantara said in a virtual briefing yesterday.
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Higher global nickel prices to benefit Philippines
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - October 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s nickel miners expect prices to remain favorable until 2021 despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“Hopefully, prices will continue to be good in 2021. The best news now is all economies in the world are reacting to China’s third quarter GDP (gross domestic product),” Philippine Nickel Industry Association board member Isidro Alcantara said in a virtual briefing yesterday.

China recently reported that its economy expanded by 4.9 percent.

Around 90 percent of the Philippines’ total nickel exports goes to China, while the remaining 10 percent goes to Japan.

Prices in the global market have been on an upward trend since the height of the pandemic.  They now average around $15,600 to $15,800 per MT.

“This is encouraging news for the Philippines as nickel is a key ingredient for many applications like stainless steel and batteries,” Alcantara said.

PNIA director Kaycee Crisostomo said prices of high grade ores have reached the 2014 level when neighboring Indonesia imposed a ban on ore exports, a move that  benefitted the Philippines.

“Even low-grade nickel ores now have a market. There are a lot of nickel opportunities and this may be a trend that can continue until next year,” he said.

Meanwhile, PNIA president and Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. president Dante Bravo said the company is still pursuing the construction of a steel processing plant despite disruptions brought about by the lockdowns.

The $50 million-plant, which will rise in Mariveles in Bataan, is targeted for construction by the first quarter of 2021 and will have a capacity of 600,000 MT of rebars per year.

Marcventures Holdings Inc. is also holding talks with potential partners for the expansion of its mines.

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