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Looming oversupply pushes nickel price to 10-month low

Indonesia relaxes export ban, while Philippines' stance on mines easing

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Nickel ore is stockpiled at a port in Santa Cruz Zambales in the northern Philippines in February.   © Reuters

TOKYO/HONG KONG -- Wariness over policy changes in two major nickel producing countries, Indonesia and the Philippines, is dragging the price of the metal down to 10-month lows.

The risk of oversupply is spreading as Indonesian mining companies resume nickel ore exports after the government relaxed its export ban earlier this year. The ban, which started at the beginning of 2014, was lifted with a 3.7 million ton export allocation for two companies. On May 1, one mining company exported 50,000 tons of nickel, the main material in stainless steel, to China. Similarly, state-owned Aneka Tambang, known as Antam, released its plan to export 150,000 tons by the end of this month.

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