Metspar price exceeds cost of higher-grade acidspar
Published: Friday, 05 July 2019
Metspar with 90% CaF2 content is now being sold at a higher price than the higher-purity acidspar, sources confirmed this week.
For several weeks producers had reported that 90% CaF2 fluorspar
was being offered at around $540-550 per tonne but
Fastmarkets refrained from adjusting its price assessment until
the deals could be confirmed by purchasers.
It has now been confirmed and Fastmarkets' price
assessment for metallurgical grade fluorspar has surpassed the
price for the higher-purity acid-grade fluorspar - a side
effect of the environmental inspections that swept through the
market last year, according to market participants.
Fastmarkets' latest weekly price assessment for fluorspar, metspar,
90% CaF2, fob China, was $500-560 per tonne on Thursday
July 4, up from $460-500 per tonne.
Sources said the higher price was a result of the
environmental inspections in 2018 that forced Chinese metspar
producers to either relocate operations entirely or to source
lower-purity fluorspar from Mongolia. That material then being
processed to produce material of 90% quality.
"Last year, [the] environmental regulations [meant] owners
had to move the factories to Mongolia, or at least move
procurement to Mongolia," one European trader said.
About 600,000 tonnes of fluorspar was removed from the
market due the environmental regulations, and although the
inspections continue, their impact was most significant in
2018, sources said.
Consumers of fluorspar have been willing to accept the
increase in prices because "they wish to focus on quality of
the fluorspar," the trader added. "Of course consumers look at
costs, but price is not the number one issue."
A second trader also reported more material coming into
China from Mongolia from "new projects."
In contrast, the acidspar market remained flat again this
week, leaving Fastmarkets' price assessment for fluorspar,
acidspar, 97% CaF2, wet filtercake, fob China, at $460-520
per tonne on July 4 - the fifth week in a row that the price
has remained unchanged.