The European vanadium market softened in the week ended Friday June 21 following a brief rebound in the prior week, while the Chinese market stabilized at the previous week’s levels.

  • China’s export FeV price stabilizes amid quiet spot market
  • European FeV price falls again amid weakening demand
  • European, Chinese V2O5 prices unchanged amid scarce spot activity
  • US spot prices narrow amid low liquidity

After gaining some upward momentum for three consecutive weeks, export prices for ferro-vanadium in China stagnated last week amid low levels of trading activity.

Fastmarkets assessed the export price for ferro-vanadium, min 78%, fob China, at $35-37 per kg on June 20, unchanged from the previous week.

Some Chinese ferro-vanadium exporters cited relatively high production costs as the main reason for holding their offer prices firm despite thin buying interest from abroad.

“We know our offer price is hard to achieve [in the export market] this week, but we cannot lower it any further because our costs are there,” a Chinese ferro-vanadium exporter told Fastmarkets on June 20.

Meanwhile, a few ferro-vanadium exporters in China held back from offering into the market on noticing the mid-week price decline in the European market. 

“We received several inquiries from abroad but did not give any offers. It’s clear that we could not provide them with cargoes at the price they desire, so why bother to offer?” a second Chinese ferro-vanadium exporter said. “It’s better to take a wait-and-see stance when there is no clear direction in the market.”

Meanwhile, China’s spot ferro-vanadium market cooled last week after the buying enthusiasm from domestic traders and mills waned, according to market sources.

“The number of inquiries from both traders and mills cannot compare with that of a week earlier but it’s normal because there are usually few tenders from mills in the middle of a month,” a Chinese ferro-vanadium producer said. 

Many Chinese market participants expressed their concerns over the possible risk of a downswing in the coming weeks amid the shrinking profit margins among Chinese mills due to declining steel prices and rising iron ore prices.

Fastmarkets assessed the eastern China domestic rebar price at 3,830-3,870 yuan ($557-563) per tonne on June 21, down by 260-270 yuan per tonne from 4,090-4,140 yuan per tonne on May 6.

Fastmarkets’ 62% Fe iron ore index stood at $116.98 per tonne cif Qingdao on June 21, up by $22.64 per tonne from $94.34 per tonne on May 6.

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