Norilsk Nickel’s Palladium to Become More Popular

Russian metals giant GMK Norilsk Nickel the world's largest producer of nickel and the platinum group metal (PGM) palladium, said on Thursday it will not interrupt palladium supplies to the world market for the foreseeable future.

Norilsk has no intention of stockpiling the precious metal amid a global supply deficit of around 60 tonnes annually and private and government inventories which have been drawn down over the summer.

Today the world is consuming more palladium than it is producing, and so the long-term outlook for palladium is excellent. That means in the long term, Norilsk Nickel don't need to stockpile any of that metal.

Norilsk estimates about 160 tonnes of palladium will be produced in the world this year, while consumption should reach roughly 220 tonnes.

Palladium is used largely by automotive manufacturers in catalytic converters to capture noxious fumes in exhaust systems.

The Moscow-headquartered company says it exports 98 percent of its PGMs, with 43 percent of sales going to Europe, followed by the United States with 30 percent and Asia with 27 percent.

At its mining and refining operations well north of the Arctic Circle in Siberia, Norilsk produces around 40 percent of the world's palladium, 17 percent of its platinum, 19 percent of its nickel and 3.5 percent of global copper.

Norilsk's revenue in 2001 reached $4.378 billion, with precious metals accounting for 46 percent, nickel 32 percent, and copper 14 percent. ©

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