Macro research firm Fitch Solutions says global nickel production growth will remain strong this year, driven by ongoing supply recovery in Indonesia and a return to positive production growth in the Philippines.
This strong production growth is despite subdued performances in major markets such as Canada, Australia and Russia.
Fitch points out that Indonesia will lead the pack, with average nickel production growth rates of 6.3% between 2019 and 2028, placing it among the top five global producers. Output in the country continues to recover following the relaxation of its export ban in January 2017.
Indonesia is expected to produce 672 000 t of nickel this year, compared with the 560 000 t produced in 2018.
Fitch Solutions expects global nickel production will grow by a yearly average rate of 3.1% from 2019 to 2028, which is slightly lower than the 4% average growth rate achieved from 2009 to 2018.
It highlights that global nickel production will reach about 3.1-million tonnes a year during the 2019 to 2028 period.
The firm adds that Australia will maintain a stable regulatory environment and solid project pipeline for nickel, while Russia will grow at the slowest rate of the top five biggest nickel producers.
Fitch Solutions estimates Australia will achieve an average production growth rate of 2.1% over the period, while Russia’s production growth will average 1.7% over the period.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, nickel production declined by an average 12% each year from 2016 to 2018, owing to the ban on openpit mining as a result of environmental concerns.
Fitch forecasts that nickel production in the country will grow at an average 2.5% over 2019 to 2028.