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Brazilian nickel supply not enough to avoid global shortage

Christian Fernsby ▼ | September 4, 2019
Bnamericas reported that at the moment, nickel supply from Brazil where mining giants Vale and Anglo American are the largest producers, has only a relatively small role in helping offset expected shortages following the Indonesian ore export ban recently announced.
Brazilian nickel mining
LatAm   Brazilian nickel mining
Mr Wenyu Yao senior commodities strategist at Dutch financial services and insurance group ING told BNamericas that "You will also need to consider the shipping costs from South American ports to the biggest consumer – China compared with Indonesia or the Philippines, which are much closer to China.”

Topics: Brazil nickel

About 3,900 tonne of Vale's mined nickel comes from its Brazilian operation, Onca Puma, where output dropped 30.4% YoY.

Compared to Q1, output was down 9.3%.

Furthermore, nearly half of Vale's nickel comes from Canada, with a smaller portion produced in the company's operations at New Caledonia.

Mr Wenyu said that last year Canada contributed around 8% of global nickel mine supply and its output has seen a 15% YoY decline.

He added that "New Caledonia is helping... but we don't think Canada and Brazil could do much help in the short term in light of the supply gap that Indonesia's ore export ban will cause to the global market.”