Bron in the reight vein
US FeV prices firmed to $10.80-11.10 per lb compared to $10.50-10.60 a week ago. As an explanation for the price rise, sellers pointed to higher prices in Europe and the return of some spot consumers to the market.
European FeV prices jumped to $24-25.50 per kg early this week compared to either side of $23 the previous week. Despite talk of FeV prices close to $26 per kg, one trader noted that European prices appeared to be trending down by the close of business today.
Early this week, at least 15 mt of business was booked in the US at $10.60-10.70 per lb, sources said. “Frankly, I was depressed,” said a supplier. But yesterday, he was able to book business at north of $11 per lb. Another sale of 8,000 lb reportedly was done at $11.10.
It is not clear what set off the European price rise because spot demand there is not robust. News reports that China’s Pangang had shut one of its furnaces for maintenance may have played a role. The two-month shutdown reportedly began last month and will result in a production loss of 1,000 mt of V2O5.
In 2019, with the exception of a few weeks in November, US prices were at a premium to prices in Europe. The price reversal is not likely to result in any supply shifts, however.
“I see US prices slowly rising as spot buyers reenter the market,” said a supplier, “but nothing dramatic. Of course, there is not much downside pressure either.”
Traders, said one analyst, are comfortable holding small positions. “US demand is OK. The general sentiment is prices are not going to go much lower.”