Nickel on MCX settled up 0.78% at 671.9 as support seen as the Philippines has repeatedly indicated that it will slash output. A Philippine nickel ore producer plans to reopen two mines suspended for environmental violations while it awaits the outcome of an appeal, in a test of rules around the government's crackdown on the industry. The two mines were among 10 suspended last year during a months-long audit led by Environment Secretary Regina Lopez, who later ordered the closure of more than half of operating mines in the world's top nickel ore exporter.
The move angered the industry, which said the closure orders were baseless and urged lawmakers this month to reject the ministerial appointment of Lopez, a committed environmentalist, in favor of a more moderate replacement. Lopez has said affected companies can appeal their case with the environment agency or with President Rodrigo Duterte and operate while awaiting a decision. It's not clear if this applies to mines halted last year.
Now traders are eyeing for fresh update from Indonesia which is expected to gradually set export quota and export timetable to further detail its new export ore policy. Market expectations over ore supply shortages will change in March with progress of new export policy in Indonesia and end of monsoon season in the Philippines.
Those suppliers have begun contacting with domestic ore traders from late February-early March. Technically market is under short covering as market has witnessed drop in open interest by -1.88% to settled at 23402 while prices up 5.2 rupees, now Nickel is getting support at 666.7 and below same could see a test of 661.6 level, And resistance is now likely to be seen at 675.3, a move above could see prices testing 678.8.