Nickel Industry Is Expected to Improve In 2021
As demands from the foreign market are expected to improve this year in spite of the threats of the pandemic, the nickel industry may see a robust year in 2021.
According to Philippine Nickel Industry Association President Dante R. Bravo, the consumption of the nickel would continue because of the demands from other sectors such as appliance equipment and infrastructure.
“The mining industry has kept employing 190,000 people in the entire country and this is very important, especially that the Philippine government is trying to implement economic recovery efforts from the impact of the pandemic,” he said.
Because of the strict quarantine measures, the production of nickel had a 14% drop last year - 18.5 million dry metric tons (DMT) - as compared with the 21.6 million DMT output the year earlier. In spite of this decrease, however, the group said that the export value of the nickel improved to almost P25 billion in the January-September period, as compared with P24 billion in the same period in 2019.
This is due to the demands from China, said Bravo.
In the year 2020, Bravo said that the contribution of the association members amounted to almost 50% of the nickel production - which produced a total of 7.9 million DMT with an export value of P11.6 billion, based on the data of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
“The industry is grateful that we were able to perform well despite the pandemic and that we were able to contribute to the economy during these trying times,” he said. “We’re all aware that a large number of businesses closed down in 2020 and some are closing down this year.”
Furthermore, he said that the group spent P166.8 million for the development management program in the Caraga region, Zambales, and Palawan. He said that P49 million was allotted for the recovery efforts - providing food and medicines, medical assistance to the communities and other neighbouring local government units.
“Some of these efforts included the build-up of isolation rooms and testing centres, provision for an ambulance, transportation, the supplemental supply of thermal scanners, test kits and personal protective equipment to local hospitals as well as provision of food packs, facemasks and hygiene kits to local health workers and frontliners,” he said.