Norilsk Nickel Sees no Spot Palladium Sales in 2002-03

Norilsk Nickel, the world's top producer of palladium, said on Wednesday it had no plans to return in 2002 and 2003 to the spot market of this platinum group metal it had left in the second half of 2001. "We have very good contracts with consumers of palladium, and we sell now, and we will continue selling an increasing volume of the metal under these contracts," Maxim Finsky, Norilsk deputy chief executive, told reporters. "We have direct long-term contracts not only for this year, but also for the next year, and we hope they will cover the main (output) volumes. If we stockpile something, we will do so to stabilize the market."

But he said Norilsk intended to continue selling on the spot market other platinum group metals, platinum and rhodium, which were not supplied to end-users under long-term contracts.

Norilsk produces 40 percent of the world palladium and 17 percent of platinum. Last Wednesday, Norilsk revealed it had signed a long-term contract to supply platinum group metals to the world's number one car maker General Motors, the Russia Journal reported.

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