GLOBAL VANADIUM WRAP: European ferro-vanadium, V2O5 prices climb to multiyear highs

Date: Sep 11, 2018

European ferro-vanadium and vanadium pentoxide prices surged to fresh 10-year and 13-year highs respectively amid thin supply availability and increased activity levels in the week ended Friday September 7, while the Chinese export market firmed despite limited buying interest.

  • Chinese export prices bolstered by strength in domestic market
  • European FeV prices surge to fresh 10 year-high amid return of consumers, traders to spot market
  • European V2O5 prices reach 13-year highs amid limited availability of material
  • US FeV spot market remains dormant

China’s ferro-vanadium export prices rebounded slightly in response to strength in the domestic market, but transactions were limited with many buyers outside China still not back from holidays.

Metal Bulletin’s latest price assessment for fob China ferro-vanadium min 78% rose to $80-82 per kg on September 6, up from $79-82 per kg a week earlier, but buying interest remained low with many market participants not yet back from holidays.

“Domestic ferro-vanadium prices in China rose by 10,000 yuan ($1,458) per tonne, and I lifted my export prices to $86-87 [per kg] based on increased costs, but no deals have been concluded at this level,” a China-based exporter of ferro-vanadium told Metal Bulletin.

“The domestic market saw increased trading activity from some steel mills and market players are largely optimistic about the market outlook supported by the increased demand from rebar producers [due to China’s revision to standards of tensile strength in rebar products],” the above exporter added.

“We concluded a deal at $82 per kg and do not have spot cargoes to sell, apart from long-term orders,” a second exporter said, adding that a pick-up in buying activity had led to the price recovery in China’s domestic market.

Metal Bulletin’s price quotation for fob China vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) stood at $18.50-19 per Ib on September 6, a level it has maintained since August 16.

Demand for V2O5 has not yet recovered with some market participants still away on holiday, but few suppliers were offering in the export market due to the strength of the domestic market.

“I am quoting $19.30 per lb for V2O5 and I know prices will reach that level soon, even though the market is still lingering at around $19 currently, as supply remains relatively tight, while the demand for downstream products will surely increase as the implementation date of new rebar standard approaches,” a China-based V2O5 exporter told Metal Bulletin.

European FeV, V2O5 prices reach fresh highs
The European ferro-vanadium market surged last week amid increased interest for the material in the spot market.

Spot prices for European ferro-vanadium rose to $84.50-85.20 per kg on September 7, delivered duty-paid in Europe, up 1.3% from $83-84.50 per kg during the mid-week assessment.

Prices showed strength throughout the week, with prices now up 5.1% from $80.20-81.20 per kg on August 31.

These levels represent a more than 10-year peak for ferro-vanadium, with prices now at their highest point since reaching $81.90-87.90 per kg in May 2008.

Prices had been under marginal pressure since that point, after market activity largely fell dormant during the month of August.

Both consumer and traders alike have been seen in the market searching for material, with the market tighter than some expected.

“Traders ran themselves dry throughout the summer and now they want to buy back in, but they have to pay premium prices to do so,” a supplier source explained.

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