GLOBAL VANADIUM WRAP: Vanadium market sees uptrend across Europe, US and China

Date: Jun 12, 2018

Vanadium prices continued their ascent in the European and US markets amid tightened supply and an uptick in activity, while Chinese vanadium prices began to recover on low availability of material.

  • Fob China vanadium prices rebound on tightening availability
  • European vanadium market strengthens further
  • US ferro-vanadium prices jump; market sees more inquiries

Metal Bulletin’s price quotation for fob China ferro-vanadium min 78% stood at $65-68 per kg on Thursday June 7, up from $63-66 per kg a week earlier. Meanwhile, the price quotation for vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) ticked up to $14.20-15 per Ib, from $14-15 per lb previously.

“I raised my offers to $68 [per lb] from the prior week’s $65-66 and sold one container at $67 over the past week,” a vanadium exporter told Metal Bulletin.

“Demand for vanadium nitride was good in May and availability for ferro-vanadium and V2O5 has been low recently,” the above exporter added.

For vanadium pentoxide, market sources reported prices of at least $14.20 per lb in China’s domestic market, based on domestic costs and closing prices, while exporters with their hands on material had quoted at above $14.50 per lb.

“Supply in V2O5 is much tighter as one major producer started to process part of its V2O5 into vanadium nitride in May. As well, the ban on imports of vanadium slag, effective since this January, has cut some V2O5 output,” a second vanadium exporter said.

Tight availability continues to support European FeV market
The European ferro-vanadium market continued to strengthen over the past week, with supply of spot material tightening further.

Spot prices for European ferro-vanadium increased to $71-72 per kg on June 8, delivered duty-paid in Europe, up 2% from $69-71.20 per kg on June 6, according to latest Metal Bulletin’s assessment.

Prices have consistently been on the rise since bottoming out at $63.50-65 per kg on May 23, with prices now up 11.3% since that time.

Spot market demand got off to a strong start last week, but subsided as the week progressed, with some market participants opting to sit on the side-lines waiting for more clarity on pricing.

Despite the subdued spot demand from consumers during the second half of the week, however, traders continued to actively seek material with little success.

“Traders were profit-taking and have no stocks anymore. Now the producers aren’t selling to the traders and it has really tightened things up,” a supplier source said.

In addition to trader stocks running thin, Chinese exporters pulled back offers into Europe, leaving few options for traders looking to restock.

While availability of supply is expected to remain thin in the near term, market participants suspect prices may continue to run as more consumers are forced to enter the market.

The European vanadium pentoxide market similarly experienced a sizeable jump last week, after supply limitations fueled sharp gains.

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