Norilsk Nickel announced its significant first-quarter profit
The largest nickel producer in the world, Russian company Norilsk Nickel, announced first-quarter profit increased on 82 percent under Russian accounting standards as metals prices rised to record high.
Net income rose to $600 million from $330 million a year earlier, according to company?s spokeswoman.
"In subsequent quarters their earnings should be a little bit lower," said Scott Semet, an analyst at MDM Bank. Market prices for nickel and other metals fell last month as buyers turned to cheaper substitutes and investors speculated that demand may slow in China.
Nickel reached a 14-year high, platinum a 24-year peak and palladium a 19-month high in the first quarter as China's surging economy drove up global demand for metals and other commodities including oil and coal. Norilsk produces one-fifth of the world's nickel, used to make stainless steel rustproof.
Norilsk last year sold 460,000 metric tons of copper, about 3 percent of global supplies. The company also mines about half of the world's palladium and 14 percent of its platinum. Automakers are using more of both metals in catalytic converters that curtail exhaust emissions.