Nickel market sentiment is likely to turn bearish in 2017. The relaxation in the Indonesian nickel ore export ban, announced 11 January, provides an opportunity for NPI production to surge ahead of prior forecasts. Equally, the promised mine suspensions in the Philippines appear ever more unlikely to have a meaningful market impact. And Chinese stainless output may also be restrained by a government strategy to cut overcapacity. Optimism might come from more nickel usage in batteries for electric vehicles.