FOCUS: Why Have Chinese Vanadium Prices Fallen So Sharply After Lunar New Year?

Chinese vanadium prices have dropped significantly since this year’s week-long Lunar New Year holiday (February 4-10) amid falling international prices and weak demand in both the domestic and international markets.

For example, Fastmarkets assessed the export price for ferro-vanadium, min 78%, fob China, at $50-54 per kg on Thursday April 11, which is down by around 28.5% from $70.50-75 per kg on February 14 – the first assessment after the Lunar New Year.

The latest export price assessment also marked a year-on-year decline of 24.1% and is down by 61.5% from a historical high of $130-140 per kg reached on October 18, 2018, according to Fastmarkets data.

Similarly, Fastmarkets’ price assessment for vanadium pentoxide, min 98%, fob China, stood at $10.50-11.50 per lb on April 11, down by 33.7% from an assessed price of $16-17.20 per lb on February 14.

The latest assessment marked a drop of 26.9% year on year and a 65.6% decline from the all-time high of $31-33 per lb reached on October 25, 2018, Fastmarkets’ historical price data showed.

The significant decline in both of these prices in the months following Lunar New Year is combined “efforts” of several factors, Fastmarkets understands.

Weak foreign prices, demand dampen sentiment in China
Since early March, sentiment in China’s domestic market has, to some extent, been dampened by a continual decline in international ferro-vanadium prices, market sources said. 

These sources added that subdued demand from abroad since Lunar New Year has contributed to the bearishness.

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