Q1 2014 outlook - Fluorspar trends

By Andrew Miller
Published: Tuesday, 07 January 2014

Downloadable: IM Data summarises the trends which defined the fluorspar market in 2013 and looks ahead to what's in store for the industry over the coming quarter

The seasonal shutdown in Chinese fluorspar production provoked increases in acid-grade fluorspar (acidspar) prices in October, resulting in the first price rise seen in 2013.
Chinese acidspar prices rose by 4.5% as sales increased in anticipation of a dearth in supply over the winter months. This upturn helped to clear some of the backlog in supplies which had accumulated throughout the year.
Although this revival in industry activity was not limited to the Chinese market, price increases failed to materialise outside of China.  European and Mexican prices were stable throughout the quarter.
Similarly, metspar prices remained unchanged approaching the new year with minimal growth in steel production meaning overcapacities continued to weigh heavy on the market. 

While the chances of a sustained period of price recovery remain hampered by congestion throughout the supply chain, an upturn in Chinese industrial activity and an improvement in US economic growth provide a positive platform for market development in 2014.
As expansion in China’s downstream markets continues into the new year, domestic demand in the country is expected to increase. This situation with the continuing pursuit of industry consolidation is likely to have repercussions on trade patterns within the market.
A reduction in Chinese exports will leave room for new projects to come onstream. However in the short-term, demand will have to increase to prevent this having an adverse effect on price.
In Q1 2014 this growth is expected to come from greater stability in Europe and the US which will boost fluorochemical demand. In particular, fluoropolymers are forecast to be a big area of end-market growth this year.

Nevertheless, these developments are unlikely to have a major impact on the market prior to Q2 2014, meaning prices are expected to remain relatively stable for much of Q1 2014.

Download full outlook here

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