GLOBAL VANADIUM WRAP: Chinese export prices tumble on absence of buying interest, European market slips slightly in quiet conditions

Date: Aug 21, 2018

Chinese vanadium export prices declined last week amid sluggish demand and lower prices outside the country, while European prices were marginally softer with the summer lull continuing to weigh on prices.

  • Lackluster demand, lower prices outside China weigh on Chinese vanadium export prices
  • European ferro-vanadium market softens slightly once again amid low activity levels
  • US ferro-vanadium spot trading stalls, while long-term negotiations progress

Fob China prices for ferro-vanadium and vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) declined amid dull demand and falling prices outside China.

Metal Bulletin’s latest assessment for fob China ferro-vanadium min 78% fell to $79-82 per kg on Thursday August 16 comparing to $80-85 in the previous week.

“I have not concluded deals for weeks and lowered my offers to $81-82 from previous week’s $85 as the European market was falling and thin inquiries were received recently,” a major trader told Metal Bulletin.

“I sealed a small deal at Rotterdam warehouse at $80.20 [per kg], and the market is weakening, but the outlook is optimistic as western buyers will come back for stockpiling and the implementation of new rebar standard from November will boost demand in the following months,” the above source added.

Meanwhile, Metal Bulletin’s price quotation for fob China V2O5 slid to $18.50-19 per Ib on Thursday from $18.50-19.30 previously.

“I have not heard any deals for V2O5 over the past week and offers for the cargoes dipped, too,” a third exporter said.

Slight drops in European market
In Europe, the ferro-vanadium market softened slightly last week, attributed to the slow summer market which continued to suppress spot market demand.

Spot prices for European ferro-vanadiumfell to $79.90-81.60 per kg on Friday, delivered duty-paid in Europe, down 0.31% from $80-82 during the midweek assessment, according to Metal Bulletin.

A lack of consistent spot market activity led to marginally more competitive pricing over the last week since consumer spot purchasing interest was quite limited.

“This past week has been very quiet. Everyone is on holiday with some of the steel mills closed for scheduled maintenance outages. There has been very little consumer driven spot activity,” a Europe-based supplier source explained.

Although sluggish spot activity has weighed on prices in recent weeks, market participants expressed optimism regarding a potential price rebound on the horizon.

“Vanadium has been softening a bit because it is quiet, but it is just for a moment. Chinese prices are still strong, so downside is limited. We are pretty optimistic that prices will firm when the market returns after the holiday period,” a second supplier source told Metal Bulletin.

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