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How Is Vale’s Base Metals Segment Performing?

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Mar. 28 2019, Updated 8:23 a.m. ET

Vale’s copper and nickel production

Vale’s (VALE) copper production in 2018 was 395,500 tons—a decline of 9.8% YoY (year-over-year). 

The decline was expected due to the company’s strategic decision to reduce its nickel footprint. The decline also reduced the production of copper by-product.

Vale’s nickel production fell 15% YoY in 2018 to 244,600 tons. The company’s coal production was in line with its 2017 production at 11,605 tons.

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Base metals

On Vale Day in December, Vale said it was getting ready for the coming EV (electric vehicle) revolution. For that, it said it would have to fix its base metals (DBB) segment. Companies such as Tesla (TSLA) and NIO (NIO) have already demonstrated the potential of EVs.

In line with its strategy of exploring the potential of premium nickel products, Vale achieved realized prices of $13,667 per ton in 2018, 4.2% above London Metal Exchange prices and the highest percentage above the benchmark since 2002.

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