Date: Mar 21, 2018

Chinese vanadium suppliers pushed up their offer prices considerably last week, after the market continued to be supported by low availability of stocks.

  • Chinese suppliers elevate offers on thinning inventories
  • European ferro-vanadium market stabilizes temporarily amid spot demand slowdown
  • US ferro-vanadium market quiet, but further gains expected after strong late week deals

Chinese vanadium export prices continued to rise last week, buoyed by higher domestic prices and low availability of spot material.

Metal Bulletin’s latest price quotation for fob China ferro-vanadium stood at $69-71 per kg on Thursday March 15, climbing by 11.1% from $62-64 per kg a week earlier. Meanwhile, the fob China vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) price was assessed at $14.80-16 per lb, up by 4.2% from $14-14.60 per lb previously.

The tightness in spot V2O5 supply in China has persisted with major Chinese producers, including Jianlong Group, Tranvic Group and Desheng Group, said to be focused on the fulfillment of long-term contracts and not making any offers in the physical market. A few offers for V2O5 were heard at $15-17 per lb in the export market last week, but no deals were concluded at these levels.

“We will not accept low prices for our sales [of V2O5] as we cannot secure any low-priced material in the domestic market,” one V2O5 exporter told Metal Bulletin.

In China’s ferro-vanadium export market, offers ranged from $69-71 per kg last week, with one exporter quoting at $74 per kg.

Buyers from outside of Chinese were resistant to the higher prices, however, and no deals were concluded at these levels, market sources told Metal Bulletin.

Chinese vanadium prices currently reside near levels that European prices last reached in June 2008.

European FeV market stabilizes
The European ferro-vanadium market found some stability late last week, with market activity quietening down after a surge at the beginning of the week.

Spot prices for European ferro-vanadiumnarrowed to $69-72 per kg, delivered duty-paid in Europe on March 16, compared with $68.50-72.5 per kg during the midweek assessment.

Although some consumers have been able to obtain material below the $70-per-kg mark, traders have struggled to do so, with suppliers opting to hold onto material rather than sell to traders.

“If you are a trader, it is impossible to find material below $70 at the moment,” a supplier source said.

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