Fluorspar outlook: Q3 2014
Published: Friday, 04 July 2014
July 2014 - Fluorspar trends
Tough market conditions for fluorspar producers continued into
Q2 2014 with competition intensifying in the face of weak consumption levels.
Slow demand saw prices from Africa slump to new lows as
acid-grade fluorspar (acidspar) producers sought to compete
with Chinese suppliers, particularly in the Indian market which was
one of the few areas to exhibit consumption growth
throughout the quarter.
This price competition fuelled a divergence in the market
at the start of the quarter, as some producers dropped prices
to retain market share while attempted to insulate themselves
from price decreases by focusing on quality and efficiency
Nonetheless, these producers eventually succumbed to market
pressures as the summer buying season began
in vain, with few signs of increased demand.
CIF prices into Europe and the
US subsequently fell 13% and 17% respectively in June.
Further decreases in price could prevail entering Q3 2014, with
IM Data sources reporting weak demand amongst Western
consumers, in particular, and Chinese prices expected to
continue fluctuating around the $300/tonne mark.
Excess capacities will also continue to be an issue with
consumption in the fluorocarbon market expected to remain
stable and aluminium fluoride
production showing few signs of increasing despite some
reports of tighter supply conditions.
In the metspar market, steady growth in steel production continued
to insulate prices throughout Q2 2014.
While sales have been stable, the more rigid supply structure
in this area of the market may see some slight price increases
moving into H2 2014.
Any potential increases would be compromised by an upturn in
metspar output, however. The Mongolian government had
aimed to increase the countrys output at the start of the
year but reaching this target looks unlikely
should current market conditions persist.
Elsewhere, new fluorspar output from the UK and Vietnam looks set to be
delayed, with major quantities now not expected to reach
the market until H2 2014 at the earliest.
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2014, please click