Global Ferronickel targets more exports to China

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Listed Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. (FNI) is set to ship 4.5 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore to China, representing almost 90 percent of the company’s target production for 2016.

FNI has secured supply contracts with three of China’s biggest stainless steel producers and will export 4.5 million WMT of nickel ore for a period of one year at spot prices.

“We are very excited with our prospects for 2016. We have managed to reduce contracted operating costs by as much as 30 percent to remain very competitive,” FNI president Dante Bravo said.

Zhejiang Tsingshan Steel Pipe Co. Ltd., whose products have been used to build China’s first aircraft carrier, will get 2.5 million WMT of nickel ore.

Large iron and steel conglomerate Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp. and Shanghai International Trade both placed an order for one million WMT each.

FNI earlier said supply of nickel ore would likely continue to be tight as some nickel miners in the country have reduced and even shut down operations.

Joseph Sy, chairman of FNI, said nickel miners have significantly lowered their production amid low prices of nickel ore in the market.

The Philippines has been exporting more than 50 percent of low grade ores to China since the Indonesian export ban in January 2014.

FNI is currently considered the largest single mine producer in the Philippines.

The company recently acquired Ipilan Mine in Palawan, which is projected to be operational in the last quarter of the year to help assure continuity of medium and high grade saprolitic ore supply to the stainless steel market.




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