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SHANGHAI: Jilin Jien Nickel, a nickel producer in northeast China, has halted output of nickel cathodes because they are no longer profitable, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The company, which has annual capacity to make 8,000 tonnes of refined nickel metal, is still producing nickel salts as normal, the sources added.

Both sources declined to be named because they are not authorised to speak to media. A Jien spokesman said he was unaware of the matter.

China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, has very few companies still making nickel cathodes as smelters instead choose to produce nickel sulphate, a chemical used in the burgeoning electric vehicle battery sector.

Nickel sulphate is so much more profitable than nickel cathodes,” one of the sources said.

China produced 12,353 tonnes of nickel cathodes in July, according to state-backed research house Antaike, with Jien accounting for 500 tonnes of the total.

London nickel prices were trading up 2.3% at $18,895 a tonne at 0156 GMT on Monday.

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