European V2O5 Price Under Pressure Amid Falling Alloy Market; US FeV Price Narrows Downward on Sluggish Demand

The European vanadium market continued its downtrend last week amid continuous weak demand and good spot availability.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for ferro-vanadium, basis 78% V min, 1st grade, ddp Western Europe stood at $26-27 per kg on Friday October 4, down from $26.70-28 per kg on October 2, when prices had fallen to that level from $26.75-28 per kg.

“Everyone is trying to get rid of quantities because there’s just too much material around,” a trader in Europe said.

“There’s not much that can stop the market from dropping,” a second trader in Europe said. “It’s going down rapidly with producers still having additional material and suppliers offering more aggressively on limited spot business inquiries.”

A ramp-up in production in China since the beginning of the year has led to an oversupplied market – China produced around 57,000 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) in the first six months of this year, a rise of 29.5% from approximately 44,000 tonnes over the same period of 2018.

“It’s easy to find units. Everyone is fighting to secure inquiries,” a third European trader said. “And there are very little inquiries coming these days.”

The V2O5 price in Europe similarly tumbled last week amid sluggish demand and weakening ferro-vanadium prices, with suppliers offering more aggressively to secure limited spot business.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for vanadium pentoxide, 98% V2O5 min, in-whs Rotterdam fell to $6.10-7.15 per lb on October 4, down from the previous week’s assessment of $6.45-7.50 per lb.

United States
The US ferro-vanadium market narrowed downward last week under the pressure of sluggish demand and weakening overseas prices.

Fastmarkets assessed the price for ferro-vanadium 70-80% V, in-whs Pittsburgh at $13.75-14.50 per lb on October 3, narrowing downward by 50 cents from $13.75-15 per lb a week earlier.

Consumers continued to shy away from the spot market, with no immediate demand needs to fill.

“We know of a couple buyers that will be out soon enough, but there were no consumers out this week,” a US supplier source said.

Suppliers expressed some concern about the sluggish current demand, saying it may continue ahead.

“September was our slowest month of the year, and it doesn’t look like its set to improve much in October,” a second US supplier source said.

Market participants expect weakness may lie ahead when activity resumes.

Fastmarkets’ vanadium price assessments in China were rolled over last week due to a national holiday falling on the assessment day.

Fastmarkets last assessed the export price for ferro-vanadium, 78% V min, fob China at $35.50-38.50 per kg on September 26, while the assessment of the export price of vanadium pentoxide, 98% V2O5 min, fob China stood at $8.20-8.30 per lb on the same day.