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Brazilian miner Vale on Wednesday said lower prices for iron-ore, nickel and copper in the first quarter dragged down earnings compared to the year before, as it posted net profit slightly below analyst estimates.

Vale, the world’s no.2 producer of iron-ore, posted a $1.7-billion net profit for the quarter ended in March, 9% lower than the year-earlier period, while analysts polled by LSEG were expecting $1.9-billion.

Vale last week reported first-quarter output and sales figures, registering lower nickel production even as iron ore and copper production rose.

Higher sales volumes of iron-ore and copper helped offset the dip in prices in the metals, Vale said on Wednesday.

The average realized price of copper was 19% lower than in the same period last year, while nickel was down 33%. Vale said iron-ore fines realized prices were also lower from last year.

Vale’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 7% in the quarter from a year earlier to $3.44-billion, below analysts’ estimate of $3.66-billion.