Drop in Norilsk Nickel FY output supports high long-term contract premium offer to Chinese buyers

An 8% year-on-year drop in Norilsk Nickel’s 2017 full-year nickel output pushed up the nickel full-plate premium cif China in the third quarter of 2017 and encouraged Norilsk to offer a historically high long-contract nickel premium of $300-320 per tonne to Chinese trading firms for 2018.

Norilsk’s total nickel output in 2017 came to 217,000 tonnes, down from year-ago levels of 236,000 tonnes, mainly as a result of lower low-margin processing of third-party feed at its Harjavalta facility, while output from its own Russian feed rose 7%, the company said on Wednesday January 31.
Combined nickel production in Russia last year fell 14% year on year to 157,000 tonnes, according to Norilsk’s production report.
"Decreasing nickel production by Norilsk Nickel and much lower Chinese refined nickel imports from Russia are supportive of higher long-contract nickel premiums cif China in 2018,” a source familiar with the situation told Metal Bulletin. “So far, four Chinese trading firms have signed quarterly contracts or half-year contracts with Norilsk Nickel at premiums of $300-320 per tonne."

Russian Norilsk Nickel...

Published

Ellie Wang

January 31, 2018

17:34 GMT

Shanghai