LONDON, Jul 29 -- Production of nickel by French metals and mining group Eramet SA (ERA.FR) rose 2% in the first half of 2010 from the year-ago period but sales fell 5%, the company said Thursday.
Output of nickel in the form of ferronickel and matte was 26,790 metric tons, up from 26,300 tons in the first half of 2009 and up 3.6% from 25,830 tons in the second half of last year.
Sales of finished nickel products fell to 28,130 tons in the first half of 2010, from 29,500 tons in the year-ago period, but were up from 24,980 tons in the second half of 2009.
The company, which is the world's sixth-largest nickel producer and a major producer of ferronickel, an alloy used to make stainless steel, didn't provide a reason for the decline in sales. It runs five mines in New Caledonia and processes the ore at Doniambo, the world's biggest ferronickel plant.