Nickel exchange traded notes are shinning this year despite a broad sell-off in other industrial metals as an export ban in Indonesia and potential sanctions against Russia support nickel prices.

The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Nickel Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: JJN) has gained 16.5% year-to-date while the iPath Pure Beta Nickel ETN (NYSEArca: NINI) rose 15.6%. [A Nickel for Your Thoughts: Ukraine Conflict Boosts Nickel ETNs]

Nickel is trading around $15,820 a ton, up more than 13% so far this year.

“This is all reaction to the Indonesia export ban in January,” Andy Shaw, an analyst at Credit Suisse, said in a Financial Times report. “We forecast a price of around $14,000 for the first and second quarter of 2014. Now it is close to $16,000. The reason for this is that we and others thought there would be some loosening of the ban.”

Indonesia, the world’s leading producer of high-grade nickel ores, banned the export of unprocessed ore in January to encourage industrial development and increase the value of the country’s raw exports.

Glencore Xstrata, an Anglo-Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company, believes that a continued ban will help balance the nickel market in 2014 and potential create a significant deficit in 2015.

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