Nickel contract premiums expected to fall in 2011

Dec 08, 2010 | 12:54 PM |

Nickel premiums for 2011 contracts are expected to fall to between 30 and 45 cents per pound in the United States as Vale AS' aggressive pricing strategy continues to pressure the market, according to an informal survey by AMM.

Estimates for next year's contract premiums come as Brazilian nickel producer Vale offers spot premiums for melting-grade briquettes as low as 24 cents per pound for small quantities to win back customers after the year-long strike at its Sudbury, Ontario, operations, market participants told AMM.

The anticipated 2011 contract premiums are in sharp contrast to 2010 premiums of 70 to 80 cents per pound, which were negotiated six months into the Sudbury strike that starved the U.S. market of material.....

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