Ferro-vanadium prices up in EU, US, but still lag behind China

Date: Oct 25, 2018

The price of ferro-vanadium continued to become firmer in the United States and Europe in the week ended Friday October 19, but both of those major markets continued to lag behind the price in the premium Chinese market.

A late-week revival in consumer spot market demand in Europe helped to bolster prices for ferro-vanadium in that region.

Spot prices for European ferro-vanadium were almost unchanged at $113.25-118.50 per kg on October 19, up from $113-118 per kg during Fastmarkets’ mid-week assessment.

The end of the week saw a flurry of spot-market inquiries, after consumers had been largely absent over the previous week.

“We saw a bit more activity at the end of last week, with some consumers finally coming back into the market,” a supplier source said. “We should see more consumers coming back into the market over the next week or two.”

Before this return by consumers, some traders had been heard unloading small volumes at lower prices in order to take profits, following the prolonged period of subdued demand.

“At the start of the week, we saw a few traders getting a little anxious about the quiet market and unloading small quantities at lower prices,” a second supplier source said. “That material has now been absorbed, which should help to keep prices firm while activity continues to pick up.”

Despite the slight upward move by prices, European participants were quick to point out that the market still lagged significantly behind the Chinese market, which meant that there was potential for further gains.

“Given where the Chinese market is, the logical move would be for another step forward for pricing. European traders can’t replace material at the current market level,” a third supplier source said.

Fastmarkets’ latest assessment of the fob China price for ferro-vanadium, min 78%, jumped to $130-140 per kg on October 18, up by 17.39% from $113-117 per kg a week earlier.

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