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Indonesian Stainless Steel

Indonesian stainless steel exports jump 40% in 2016 on China rise – WBMS

Indonesian exports of stainless steel rose to 83,200 tonnes in 2016, their highest since 2012, and up over 40% from the previous year according to data from World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) in the latest Quarterly Stainless Steel Report.

While it is early days, this may mark the start of a significant trend as Indonesia’s ambitions to develop its downstream nickel industry continue to gather a head of steam.

Those ambitions began with the implementation of a complete ban on nickel ore exports in early 2014. Although the Indonesian government’s recent decision to relax that ban has unsettled the nickel market, expansion of the nation’s nickel pig iron (NPI) industry appears intact.

Aided in particular by heavy Chinese investment, the country has already graduated from a small producer of refined nickel to the world’s sixth largest in just a year. The country’s production is widely expected to grow strongly again in 2017.

Furthermore, some of those Chinese firms invested in Indonesia also have plans to make inroads further downstream to produce stainless steel in the country.

The 40% increase in Indonesian stainless steel exports last year was almost exclusively down to a jump in slab shipments to China which totalled 24,400 tonnes, up from just 700 tonnes in 2015. Exports from the country were confined to parcels totalling 12,400 tonnes and 12,000 tonnes in September and December respectively.

China’s Tsingshan Group, which trial produced stainless steel slab for a brief period around the middle of last year, plans to start the 1 million tonnes capacity stainless mill in the current quarter with plans to treble that amount.

Another Chinese firm, Delong is also expected to advance plans to produce stainless steel in Indonesia after it was forced to close its new mill in China’s Jiangsu province.

If Indonesia’s stainless steel sector takes off as quickly as its NPI industry, export volumes and destinations will bear monitoring. This may prove particularly pertinent as global protectionism gathers momentum with the U.S. set to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China.

Dated 28th February 2017

The above data are taken from Quarterly Stainless Steel report published today.

Editors requiring more detailed information should contact Sue Eales by email at or by telephone +44 (0) 1920 461274


Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and validity of the information contained in this release WBMS and its Board of Directors can accept no responsibility for any losses incurred as a direct result of any actions based on conclusions drawn from the data.

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