Russia’s Nornickel has revised its production guidance for nickel upwards to 225,000-235,000mt from 225,000mt produced in 2019. Copper production is projected at 55,000-65,000mt from 44,000mt produced in 2019.
Nickel production would slowly subside in 2021 due to planned furnace maintenance at Nadezhda smelter. Copper production would also temporarily decline in 2021-22 due to secondary feedstock depletion.
In H2 (June-December) 2020, global nickel production would rise and market surplus is expected to increase on the back of growing nickel production in Indonesia and subdued demand amid COVID-19. Copper market would also develop a marginal surplus with COVID-19 impacting demand and supply.
Nickel consumption in China is yet to recover as electrical vehicle sales is sluggish, according to the company.
Nickel in stainless steel
Melt output is recovering but there is marginal impact on demand until the inventories are worked down, said Nornickel.
Nickel sales fell to 93,000mt in H1, down 15pc and copper sales fell to 182,000mt, down 4pc from the prior year.
The company’s revenue from nickel slipped 16pc in H1 to $1,264mn from the previous year while copper revenues fell 16pc, both on lower prices and sales volume. The company’s revenues in H1 rose 7pc to $6.7bn from the prior year. Operating profits fell 51pc to $1.8bn on lower metal sales as result of decrease in production volumes and accumulation of metal stocks. Also, depreciation of Russian Ruble affected figures.