TOKYO---Pacific Metals Co, Japan’s largest ferro-nickel producer, and Nippon Yakin Kogyo Co said vessels carrying nickel ore recently departed from Indonesia after shipments were curbed in May.
“Our shipment left a port in Indonesia over the weekend,” Masahiko Naito, Pacific Metals’ spokesman, said today by phone. Nippon Yakin spokesman Yusuke Takahashi also said a shipment recently left the country.
Both spokesmen confirmed these were the first shipments to Japan from the world’s biggest producer since May 6.
Indonesia said May 3 it would rein in exports of some minerals including nickel, copper, gold and iron ore.
The curbs on those shipments, combined with a 20% tax on the remainder, were aimed at raising their value and boosting local smelting, potentially increasing costs for smelters in Japan, the third-largest economy.
Nippon Yakin’s Takahashi said the Japanese buyers and the miners are still in negotiations to decide which side will pay the 20% export tax. Nickel, used to strengthen stainless steel, was little changed at us$16,870 a ton at 5:41 p.m. in Tokyo.(Bloomberg/T03/TW)