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Nickel : Sumitomo forecasts production of 30,000 tonnes this year

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Nickel : Sumitomo forecasts production of 30,000 tonnes this year

Falling nickel prices impact the market

The Ambatovy mining company, in which Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation holds the largest stake, is anticipating nickel production of approximately 30,000 tonnes for the current year. This projection falls short by 10,000 tonnes from the initial plan.

Sumitomo Corporation attributes the downward revision of its forecasts to current operational challenges, particularly process difficulties within the industrial system. CFO Reiji Morooka highlighted another issue discovered at the power plant towards the end of last year, coupled with equipment malfunctions during the October-December quarter.

The revised annual financial impact of Ambatovy by Sumitomo reflects the decline in nickel prices. The estimated loss stands at 117 million USD, below the November forecast of breaking even.

Nickel holds significant importance in electric vehicle batteries, as it enhances energy density, enabling longer car travel on a single charge. However, Indonesia’s emergence as a supply hub is exerting pressure on nickel producers. Moreover, advancements in nickel utilization in batteries are impacting the market. The purchase price of nickel plummeted by 40 % last year, hovering around 16,000 USD per tonne.

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