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Vale’s Q3 iron ore production edges higher, nickel output surges (NYSE:VALE)

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Vale (NYSE:VALE) reported Monday its Q3 iron ore production rose more than expected while nickel output soared as refineries resumed operations.

The miner’s production edged up 1.1% Y/Y but jumped 21% Q/Q to 89.7M metric tons and beat the 87.2M-ton average estimate among analysts tracked by Bloomberg.

However, output of iron ore pellets fell 1% Y/Y and 4.8% Q/Q to 8.3M metric tons.

Q3 sales of iron ore rose 3.5% Y/Y and 7.4% Q/Q to 69M tons, while sales of pellets increased 6% Y/Y but fell 3.6% Q/Q to 8.5M tons.

Vale (VALE) said the start of the dry season in Brazil’s north helped output improve from the previous quarter.

Q3 nickel production surged 71.5% to 51.8K metric tons, as refineries resumed after a maintenance period, but nickel sales gained just 6%, which Vale (VALE) attributed to low container availability and sales commitments during maintenance stoppages.

Iron ore prices are near their lowest in a year after China’s President Xi Jinping reiterated his zero-tolerance policy for COVID-19 that has dented steel demand.