Brazil’s Vale Poised to Pass Norilsk as World’s Biggest Nickel Miner

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Brazilian multinational Vale SA is poised to oust Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin’s OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel as the No. 1 producer of the metal as prices rose 15% this year.

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Norilsk’s nine-month output sank 5.6% to 199,800 metric tons from a year earlier, it said today in a statement. That compares with Rio de Janeiro-based Vale’s production in the period of 201,400 tons after a 16% jump last quarter.

The Russian company, split between billionaires that also include Oleg Deripaska and Roman Abramovich, in July forecast annual output of 225,000 to 235,000 tons. In December, Vale said 2014 shipments would gain 11% to 289,000 tons, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

On Thursday, October 30, the nickel spot price experienced the biggest change, rising 3.5% on the LME to $15,575 per metric ton. On Thursday, the nickel 3-month price experienced a large increase, rising 3.2% on the LME to land at $15,615 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian nickel showed little movement on Thursday at INR 970.00 ($15.82) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome held steady at CNY 8,300 ($1,351) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,609) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge saw little movement yesterday at $1.06 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 26,000 ($4,233) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap was unchanged at CNY 16,100 ($2,621) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton.

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