GLOBAL VANADIUM WRAP: European Ferro-Vanadium Price Continues Downtrend On Thin Buying

The European ferro-vanadium market continued its downtrend last week amid thin spot buying and prevailing bearish sentiment.

  • European ferro-vanadium price continues downtrend on sluggish trading
  • Chinese ferro-vanadium price stable in quiet spot market
  • Wide China-Europe price gap remains
  • China’s V2O5 export price continues to sink, tracks the trend in the domestic market

The ferro-vanadium export price in China stalled in the week ended Friday September 13 amid low levels of trading activity as a result of both buyers’ lack of interest in offering and overseas buyers remaining on the sidelines.

Fastmarkets’ assessment of the export price for ferro-vanadium, 78% V min, fob China was $35.50-38.50 per kg on September 12, flat week on week.

“It’s still meaningless to make any offers now, though we received a few inquiries,” a Chinese ferro-vanadium exporter, who refrained from offering last week, said. “Because it’s impossible to see any deals concluded at the moment.”

The persistent wide price gap between China and Europe and the weak buying interest from foreign markets continued to act as headwinds for any possible transactions in the Chinese export market, market sources said.

The price differential between China and Europe was at a premium of $5.75-7.50 per kg for Chinese material, according to Fastmarkets’ latest assessments.

The Chinese domestic ferro-vanadium price saw a slight decline at the beginning of last week and it halted the downtrend in the middle week after suppliers became reluctant to lower any further on their offer prices in the belief that some mills will likely enter the market to restock in the week beginning September 16.

“I feel the prices [of vanadium products] will possibly see another round of uptick in the coming weeks because mills need to restock for use during the week-long National Day holiday [October 1-7]. If they do not enter the market it would be not easy to find necessary transportation with the holiday approaching,” a Chinese market source said.

On the upstream side, China’s export price for vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) continued to move downward, tracking the trend in the country’s domestic market.

Fastmarkets assessed the export price of vanadium pentoxide, 98% V2O5 min, fob China at $8.20-8.30 per lb on September 12, narrowing downward by $0.20 per lb from $8.20-8.50 per lb a week before.

“The demand [for vanadium products] seems to be relatively weak; we do not receive many inquiries from both mills and traders this week, so we would not consider buying any volumes of V2O5 either,” a Chinese ferro-vanadium producer, who had suspended production, said. “It’s still not the right time to resume production now, and we will still focus on destocking at the moment.”

Despite the recent softening of V2O5 prices in the Chinese domestic market, some market participants noted difficulty in securing the material.

“The price [of V2O5] has continued moving down but when we want to buy some, everyone told us that they do not have any available material at hand,” a second Chinese ferro-vanadium exporter said.

European FeV market down again amid bearish sentiment, oversupply
The European ferro-vanadium market fell again last week amid bearish sentiment and limited spot activity.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for ferro-vanadium basis 78% V min, 1st grade, ddp Western Europe moved down to $29.75-31 per kg on September 13, from $30.15-31.10 per kg on September 11, when prices had remained unchanged from the previous assessment.

Spot activity was limited during the week with only around 10 tonnes changing hands.

“Steel plants in Europe are not buying yet, stocks are accumulating and as soon as there is a bigger inquiry prices will drop even lower,” a trader in Europe said.

“The market in Europe is oversupplied and there is plenty of material around. All my inquiries this week were from outside of Europe,” a second trader said.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for vanadium pentoxide 98% V2O5 min, in-whs Rotterdam was unchanged week on week at $7.50-8.50 per lb on September 13, with limited spot business concluded.

US ferro-vanadium price slips in slow spot market
In the United States, the ferro-vanadium market softened slightly this past week amid slack spot demand.

Fastmarkets assessed the price for ferro-vanadium 70-80% V, in-whs Pittsburgh at $14.65-15.50 per lb on September 12, widening downward by 15 cents per lb from $14.80-15.50 per lb a week earlier.

Consumer interest remains subdued, with activity limited to small volume transactions over the period.

“It is still incredibly quiet from a spot demand standpoint. It never really picked up in September as we expected. We’ll have to see what happens over the next two weeks before the fourth quarter,” a US supplier source said.

Market participants expressed concern surrounding declining prices in Europe.

“European prices are falling off. I thought we were at bottom here in the US, but I wouldn’t be shocked if someone got aggressive with the global price down given how limited demand is,” a second US supplier source said.

vanadium prices, ferro-vanadium prices, vanadium pentoxide prices