Nickel Asia says value of nickel ore ship­ments drops in Q1

Business World - - CORPORATE NEWS - Jan­ina C. Lim

LISTED Nickel Asia Corp. on Tues­day said the value of nickel ore ship­ments fell in the first quar­ter as prices weak­ened af­ter In­done­sia re­laxed its ex­port ban in Jan­uary.

In a dis­clo­sure to the Philip­pine Stock Ex­change, the coun­try’s big­gest nickel pro­ducer said it shipped 3.09 mil­lion wet met­ric tons (WMT) of nickel ore dur­ing the Jan­uary to March pe­riod, vir­tu­ally the same level as the 3.06 mil­lion WMT shipped a year ago.

“How­ever, weaker ore ex­port prices due to the ef­fect of in­creas­ing ore ex­ports from In­done­sia cou­pled with ship­ments of more lower-grade ore, re­sulted to a drop in the Com­pany’s es­ti­mated value of ship­ments to P1.85 bil­lion this year from P2.21 bil­lion in 2017,” Nickel Asia said.

In­done­sia re­laxed its ore ex­port ban in Jan­uary, lead­ing to a drop in prices.

In the first three months of 2018, the es­ti­mated re­al­ized nickel price, which is his­tor­i­cally priced on a ne­go­ti­ated dol­lar per WMT ba­sis, av­er­aged $17.07 per WMT — lower by al­most half com­pared to the $ 31.67 per WMT on 1.06 mil­lion WMT sold dur­ing the same pe­riod last year.

Lower ore- grade was also a fac­tor in the drop in the av­er­age re­al­ized price of the ore ship­ments dur­ing the pe­riod, Nickel Asia said, not­ing the com­pany’s de­ci­sion to change the mix of its ore grade this year.

Last year, the com­pany was fo­cused on higher- grade ship­ments to take ad­van­tage of el­e­vated prices dur­ing the pe­riod.

Nickel Asia said it was able to off­set the im­pact of lower-priced ship­ments with higher value from its limonite ore de­liv­er­ies to Ta­gan­ito and Coral Bay pro­cess­ing plants. The op­er­a­tions in both plants, which are linked to Lon­don Metal Ex­change prices, have done bet­ter with an av­er­age re­al­ized price of $6.02 per pound of payable nickel on 2 mil­lion WMT sold in Jan­uary to March. Last year, the av­er­age price was at $ 4.66 per pound of payable nickel on roughly the same ship­ment vol­ume.

Ger­ard H. Brimo, pres­i­dent and CEO of Nickel Asia, said the price im­prove­ment re­flects among oth­ers, the growth in bat­ter­ies for the elec­tric ve­hi­cles (EV).

“We are for­tu­nate that this com­po­nent of our busi­ness, as well as the two pro­cess­ing plants where we are in­vested in, are ben­e­fit­ing from ris­ing LME nickel prices driven by the bullish out­look on nickel used for the EV mar­ket,” he added.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.