GLOBAL VANADIUM WRAP: Supply concerns continue to fuel global prices

Date: Jan 24, 2018

Global ferro-vanadium markets experienced sharp gains once again this past week, with supply concerns continuing to support prices.

  • Chinese ferro-vanadium prices continue to strengthen on supply concerns
  • European ferro-vanadium market slows, prices continue to firm
  • US ferro-vanadium market sees price gains despite thin trading activity

The Chinese vanadium export market saw very few deals in the week ended Friday January 19, but prices continued to tick higher, underpinned by a strong domestic market.

Metal Bulletin assessed fob China ferro-vanadium prices at $56-60.50 per kg on January 18, up by 5.9% from $50-60 per kg a week earlier.

“We concluded a 5-tonne deal with a Southeast Asian buyer on [January 16] at $56 per kg, and will quote around $58 in the physical market based on the closing prices of 185,000 yuan ($28,885) per tonne in China and the exchange rate between the Chinese yuan and US dollar falling to 6.4,” a major exporter told Metal Bulletin.

“We are not quoting for V2O5 [Vanadium pentoxide] due to having no spare cargoes to sell,” the above source added.

“I am quoting $60.50 [per kg] in the export market for ferro-vanadium, equivalent to 195,000 yuan per tonne of domestic offers in Jinzhou, [in China’s Liaoning province], a major production hub, as operation rates in Liaoning were very low in the past two months,” a Liaoning-based exporter said.

V2O5 producers in Liaoning province, northeast China, who usually consume Russia-origin imported vanadium slag have had to cut or halt production since a ban on importing vanadium slag into China came into effect on January 1, 2018.

“Those producers [using imported vanadium slag] have to establish new co-operative relationships with domestic slag suppliers and compete for raw materials with other domestic slag consumers. In fact, domestic supply of slag is inadequate to meet the increased demand [resulting from the import ban],” a second Liaoning-based producer said.

Supply in China’s domestic V2O5 market remains tight and very few exporters are quoting now, market participants told Metal Bulletin.

Metal Bulletin assessed fob China V2O5 prices at $12-13.30 per Ib on January 18, unchanged from a week earlier.

“Domestic closing prices for V2O5 are around 182,000-183,000 yuan, equivalent to $12.90-13 per Ib, but the acceptable prices for overseas buyers are still hovering around $12.25-12.5, [so] suppliers prefer to sell in China,” a V2O5 exporter said.

The above source has not quoted in export market for several weeks, saying “No inquiries came to me recently.”

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