Sherritt Wants to Export Cuban Nickel, Cobalt to the US

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The US move to normalize relations with Cuba could pave the way for Sherritt International Corp. to export nickel and cobalt to one of the biggest markets in the world, the miner’s Chief Executive David Pathe told Reuters.

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Sherritt shares jumped as much as 36% in December after President Barack Obama moved to thaw a 5-decade freeze in relations between the two countries and said he would speak to the US Congress about lifting the  embargo on Cuba.

“If the embargo were to be lifted, we could export some of that nickel and cobalt into the US. market, which is obviously one of the biggest markets in the world,” CEO Pathe said in an interview with Reuters.

“It would also give us access to U.S. suppliers for mining equipment and supplies and services for our oil and gas industries.”

The company derives nearly three-quarters of its revenue from operations in Cuba and about 95% of its revenue from its metals business.

The Indian nickel cash price saw the biggest upwards shift for the day, rising 1.5% to close at INR 987.00 ($15.62) per kilogram on Thursday, January 8. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel gained 1.4% to finish at $15,530 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel spot price rose 1.1% to $15,450 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel closed mixed on Thursday. Chinese ferro-chrome saw little change in its price yesterday at CNY 10,900 ($1,754) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly showed little movement yesterday at CNY 88,000 ($14,165) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel increased 1.1% to CNY 111,400 ($17,931) per metric ton. At CNY 13,150 ($2,117) per metric ton, Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap fell 0.8% yesterday. The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $1.01 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held steady at CNY 23,700 ($3,815) per metric ton. At CNY 16,700 ($2,688) per metric ton, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil was essentially unchanged.

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