Indonesia stands ready to face official complaints from the European Union (EU) over the country's curbs on exporting nickel and other raw materials at the World Trade Organization - Photo: Special.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Ahead of the permanent halt in nickel exports from Indonesia early next year, the world’s top supplier of nickel recorded export US$97.4 million worth of nickel mines and products in October, up 10 percent from $88.2 million in September, the official said today (11/15).

“In September 2019 the value was $88.2 million, compared to October increasing nickel exports to $97.4 million,” Head of the Central Statistics Agency Suharyanto told reporters in his office, saying the surge was largely influenced by government policies banning nickel exports from January 1, 2020.

Suharyanto explained the country shipped 8.85 million tonnes of nickel ore and nickel products in October, up slightly from 8.79 million tonnes in September. Between January and October, Indonesia exported 73.2 million tons of nickel ore and nickel products, down 4 percent from the same period last year.

A day before, the director-general of customs, Heru Pambudi, said nickel exports have increased since September. But October’s growth was fierce, even twice as much as exports in 2018. The spike occurred within one month after the study of the limitation of nickel ore for domestic industrial needs.

“On October 31, nickel revenues rose sharply by Rp1.1 trillion. Why sharp? Because during 2018 exports in this sector only reached Rp659 billion. The surge began in September 2019 at the beginning of the moratorium,” Pambudi said.

With the increase that occurred for almost two months, his party is conducting verification steps on companies that are registered nickel ore export branches during October.

“The government will serve companies that have met their needs whether they meet the requirements, we will conduct a deepening verification,” he went on.

Pambudi explained that the jump in customs revenue from nickel ore exports from January-August was fairly normal. However, since export restrictions began from September to October there was a surge in the value of export duties to more than Rp470 billion.

The growth, he adds, was the highest jump of the total export value because the increase in September 2019 reached 191 percent or as high as Rp170 billion. Then, in October the export value of nickel ore rose sharply up to 298 percent to Rp300 billion.

The government previously banned nickel mining companies from exporting their products as of January 1, 2020. The prohibition is regulated in Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Regulation Number 11 of 2019 concerning the second amendment to previous regulation number 25 of 2018 concerning mineral and coal mining businesses.

The moves were taken by the government to develop the country’s upstream nickel processing industry. Especially to strengthen raw materials for the preparation to produce motorcycle and electric car batteries, which will be successful in the next 5 to 10 years.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: