Norilsk Sees Nickel at $16,000 Making 30% of Output Unprofitable

Nickel prices at about $16,000 a metric ton would make 30 percent of global output of the metal unprofitable, according to Moscow-based OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the biggest producer.

At $15,000 a ton, 45 percent of output would be unprofitable, the company’s press service said today by e-mail, citing Yuri Sobolev, sales director.

Nickel for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange, a global benchmark, averaged about $15,763 a ton last month. The metal, down 4.7 percent this year, fell 2.2 percent to $17,815 by 4:47 p.m. local time, after rallying to $18,236 yesterday, the highest price in more than four months.

Global demand for nickel and copper increased 3 to 4 percent in the first eight months of the year, according to Sobolev. The company’s earlier forecast for the whole year was for a 1 to 2 percent increase.

Palladium demand rose 5 percent in January through August, in line with Norilsk’s expectations, according to Sobolev.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marina Sysoyeva in Moscow at msysoyeva@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.