Vale Lowers Investment Budget Again; Spot Price of Nickel Up After Two-Day Decline

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Vale SA has decided to “[lower] its investment budget for a third straight year as the world’s No. 2 mining company bolstered efforts to focus expansion on its main iron ore business,” reports Reuters.

“Vale said on Monday it had set a 2014 capital spending plan at $14.8 billion, down 9.2 percent from 2013. About 80 percent of spending next year will go to develop new iron ore projects and for rail, port and other logistics needed to move its products to market.”

“Shrinking investment plans come as Vale seeks to streamline, sell money-losing units and focus on Brazilian iron ore output to deal with slowing global demand for major commodities.”

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Following a two-day decline on the LME, the spot price of nickel climbed up 1.1 percent to end on Monday, December 2. The 3-month price of nickel rose 1.0 percent on the LME to $13,475 per metric ton after a two-day drop. The Indian nickel cash price rose 0.4 percent.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row.

Following two days of downward movement, the price of Chinese primary nickel held steady. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held flat. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap held steady.