ASIAN FERRO-ALLOYS CONF: Robust demand amid supply deficit likely to boost vanadium price momentum again in 2019

Date: Mar 12, 2019

Strong demand for vanadium as a result of China’s revised rebar standard is likely to boost vanadium price momentum again this year, industry speakers said at Fastmarkets’ Asian Ferro-Alloys conference in Hong Kong taking place on March 10-11.

Global vanadium production is estimated to reach 103,564 tonnes in 2019, up 14% from 90,500 tonnes in 2018, Mark Smith, chief executive officer of Largo Resources told delegates at the Hong Kong event. 

On the demand side, consumption is estimated to hit 105,762 tonnes in 2019, up 9% from 96,870 tonnes in the prior year, according to Smith. 

China will take the lead in vanadium consumption with appetite for the noble alloy rising by 18% to 52,706 tonnes in 2019, largely underpinned by the growing demand in rebar production after the Chinese government revised the minimum required vanadium content in rebar, he added. 

The new standard took effect in November 2018. The revised rebar policy encourages domestic Chinese mills to utilize greater volumes of alloys, including ferro-vanadium, to meet the revised strength requirements. 

“Increased demand due to the revised rebar policy is arriving in early 2019 while increased production of vanadium will be end-loaded in 2019,” Smith said. 

Therefore, vanadium prices will be under severe upward pressure in the first half year of 2019 due to an immediate surge in demand, Smith told the delegates. 

Given supply, demand and inventory fundamentals, vanadium prices are likely to regain the momentum seen last year, he added. 

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