GLOBAL VANADIUM WRAP: European FeV Market Stalls After Early Gains; Chinese FeV Exporters Raise Offer Prices

European ferro-vanadium prices stabilized over the second half of last week amid a slowdown in the spot market following an early week surge, while Chinese ferro-vanadium exporters raised their offer prices in light of increased interest from abroad.

  • Chinese exporters elevate FeV offer prices on increased buying interest from abroad
  • European FeV market stalls after early week jump on late-week inactivity
  • European V2O5 price flat lines in dormant market
  • US FeV market stabilizes following European turnaround

The export price for ferro-vanadium in China managed to tick up on Thursday May 30, following three consecutive weeks of decline, after Chinese exporters either held their offers firm or raised their prices amid increasing inquiries from abroad and prices increases in the international market. 

Fastmarkets assessed the export price for ferro-vanadium, min 78%, fob China, at $34-36 per kg on May 30, up by 1.4% from $33-36 per kg in the prior week. 

The price has dropped by 49.5% from the beginning of the year and is also down by 74.1% from the all-time high of $130-140 yuan per kg reached on October 18, 2018. 

Market confidence in China was shored up by recent price rises seen in the European market and growing buying interest from abroad, market sources said. 

“We received many inquiries from abroad this week. Though we have not been able to place any orders so far because of disagreement on prices, we believe this is a good sign for the market, indicating a recovery in buying interest from abroad,” a Chinese ferro-vanadium exporter said on May 30. 

“We would not lower our price further – if we could not achieve a much more favorable price in the export market, why do we bother to sell abroad?” the exporter added. “We can just sell domestically.” 

Meanwhile, sentiment in the Chinese domestic market was also buoyed by an uptick in buying from domestic mills, which was widely interpreted by market participants as a sign that mills are switching back to using vanadium products as an alloying agent rather than previously price-competitive ferro-niobium products. 

This resumption in buying from mills was insufficient to push up domestic prices significantly. This is because domestic ferro-vanadium and vanadium nitrogen suppliers made aggressive offers in a bid to capture orders from mills, market participants said.

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