Eramet SA’s manganese division saw revenue decrease in the third quarter despite improved carbon steel production in North America and Europe, while its nickel division saw an increase in revenue due to higher pricing.

The Paris-based company posted overall revenue of €787 million ($1 billion) for the three months ended September 30, up 4.4% from €754 million in the same period last year.

Eramet’s manganese division recorded revenue of €358 million for the quarter, down 10.7% from €401 million a year earlier.

Global production of carbon steel rose 2.1% in the first nine months of 2014 compared with the same period last year and 1.6% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, driven mainly by the USA and the EU, the company said, but Eramet Manganese’s alloy shipments decreased 9% in the nine-month period and 7% in the third quarter mainly because of maintenance operations in Norway in the first and third quarters.

"Despite the decrease in average manganese ore prices, alloy prices remained stable outside China due to healthy steelmaking activity in North America and Europe, as well as the uncertainties in Ukraine," it said.

The company’s nickel division posted revenue of €217 million for the third quarter, up 44.7% from €150 million a year ago.

"The rise in Eramet Nickel’s turnover results primarily from a 12% increase in (London Metal Exchange) nickel prices to $7.81 per lb on average for the first nine months of 2014 and a 33% increase to $8.42 per lb on average in the third quarter" compared with a year earlier, the company said.

"However, since mid-September, in a context of downward trends in raw material prices and build-up of nickel inventory on the LME, LME nickel prices have decreased, and they are currently around $6.80 per lb," Eramet said. But "according to most experts, the introduction of an export ban on non-processed Indonesian ore, should lead . . . to a significant upturn in nickel prices during 2015."

This report was first published by American Metal Market.