GLOBAL VANADIUM WRAP: Chinese markets quiet ahead of holidays; US, EU markets bolstered by thin inventories

Date: Feb 13, 2018

Chinese vanadium markets flattened last week ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, while US and European prices continued to be reinforced by falling regional inventories.

  • Chinese price flatlines ahead of Chinese New Year holiday
  • European market rebounds on spot demand uptick, tight market
  • US market resumes strength on continued supply concerns

Few exporters were quoting over the past week because of the approaching Chinese New Year holidays (February 15-21) which meant many domestic companies have closed, including logistic firms.

Metal Bulletin assessed fob China ferro-vanadium prices at $58-60.50 per kg on Thursday February 8, flat on the week before.

“No inquiries came to me, and I have not quoted recently,” an exporter told Metal Bulletin, revealing that he offered $60 one week ago, but no deals have been sealed at this level.

The new steel rebar standard was released by China’s Standardization Administration earlier in the week. The standard gives steel mills around eight months to consume existing stocks with lower vanadium content, adjust facilities and get familiar with the new standard which will take effect on November 1.

The revised standards spell out stricter requirements for alloy content, weight and dimensions as well as the tolerance levels of the various grades of rebar.
Sources forecast that demand for vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) will increase gradually this year.

“The growth in V2O5 demand will be at least 10,000 tonnes per year,” a second source said.

“The current tight supply in V2O5 is expected to persist in the next months, and the sharp demand growth may happen in the second half of the year if no additional production fills the gap,” a third source said.

“Until now, we have not seen any chance of significant production increase in China,” the third source added.

Metal Bulletin assessed vanadium pentoxide fob China prices at $13-13.3 per Ib on February 8, unchanged week on week.

“Actually, very few V2O5 exporters are quoting, not because of the upcoming Chinese break, but as higher closing prices in the domestic market make export business less attractive to Chinese exporters,” a fourth source said.

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