Aug. 1 -- Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium, sold 136,400 tonnes of nickel in the first half of the year at an average price of $25,923 per tonne, head of marketing Viktor Sprogis said.
That represented a premium of $358 to the average price of nickel on the London Metals Exchange (LME) for the period, he added.
Sprogis said rising production costs would boost platinum-group metal (PGM) prices: "As a target of investment I like PGMs much more than gold. They have very high price support in the form of production costs."
Sprogis said investor demand for Norilsk's output would boost prices in the second half, and added that one or two exchange traded funds (ETFs) backed by nickel and copper were likely to hit the market this year.