GLOBAL VANADIUM WRAP: Europe V2O5 price hits record high, US and China markets stall

Date: Nov 13, 2018

European ferro-vanadium and vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) prices gained further strength on the back of limited supply availability in the week ended November 9, while in the United States and China vanadium prices stabilized on subdued market activity.

• Chinese export prices stabilize amid thin export activity due to favorable domestic market
• Europe FeV prices rise amid the lack of supply availability
• Europe V2O5 prices hit a historical high thanks to increasing liquidity
• US FeV prices stall amid subdued spot activity.

China’s ferro-vanadium export price remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive week, with few deals reported done over the pricing week as of Thursday November 8, as traders prefer to sell domestically because of the favorable prices in the domestic market.Fastmarkets MB’s latest price assessment for ferro-vanadium, 78% minimum, fob China, was $130-140 per kg on November 8, unchanged since October 18.
“We are not offering [in the export market] this week as almost no foreign buyers have showed interest in inquiring recently so we are currently concentrating on the domestic market,” a ferro-vanadium trader said.

“We have not received any inquiries from overseas market for a long time and we are quite cautious about the current situation, as although China’s export price is a bit higher than elsewhere, foreign buyers will still come to us for inquiries if they have solid demand and have to source material from us,” a second trader said.

“And we are eager to know whether the demand in the overseas market has shrunk or whether overseas buyers have found elsewhere they can source [ferro-vanadium] at a preferential price,” the same trader added.

Despite being attractive to traders due to favorable prices, China’s domestic market has been dormant for a few weeks as many market participants have being cautious about transactions amid the ongoing implementation of the new rebar policy from November 1 that demands the greater use of ferro-vanadium in the rebar manufacturing process in an attempt to stamp out substandard products.

Meanwhile, the annual maintenance carried out by some steel mills in November constrained the consumption for ferro-vanadium.

“We heard that some steel mills in Southern China have carried out their annual maintenance on furnaces since early November, so it’s normal that there is no obvious increase in the demand for ferro-vanadium recently,” a source told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets MB’s price assessment for vanadium pentoxide, min 98%, fob China, sits at $31-33 per lb on November 8, unchanged for the third consecutive week.

“We failed to export any vanadium pentoxide in the second half of 2018 and we are currently very cautious about buying [vanadium pentoxide] amid loosing orders from downstream industries,” a third trader said.

“We expected the [vanadium pentoxide] market to maintain stable in the whole November,” the same trader added.

Another trader, however, was optimistic about the market on the expectation that the supply tightness of vanadium pentoxide would lend some support to the price in the near future.

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