China’s acidspar market continued to be firm
despite reports of tightness in supply caused by recent heavy
rain in southern China and the latest round of environmental
inspections, Fastmarkets heard on Friday July 19.
Fastmarkets’ latest price assessment for fluorspar,
acidspar, 97% CaF2, wet filtercake, fob China, was $460-520
per tonne. The assessment was made on July 18 and was flat for
the seventh consecutive week
"Supply of acidspar stayed tight in the domestic market, and
we haven’t adjusted export prices this week," a
Chinese trader said.
"Some producers in Zhejiang stopped production due to the
recent heavy rain, and environmental inspections remain strict
in most regions of China. [This] limits the production of
fluorspar to some degree, with some unqualified enterprises
facing potential shutdown," the trader added.
Several sources said that a fresh round of government-led
inspections had begun on July 1.
While the exact effect this has had on fluorspar producers
was unclear, the majority of fluorspar mines in southern China
were sold out of material, according to a trader source in
The trader was trying to add some fluorspar to a vessel
loaded with other products but "all producers withdrew from
their earlier indications," the European trader said.
Continuing the trend witnessed so far this year, tight
supply has been met with weak downstream demand.
A gloomy outlook persisted in downstream refrigerants
markets, with refrigerant products such as R22, R32 and R134a
under downward pressure, while limited transactions were
reported on the spot market.
The end-markets, such as the air conditioner and
refrigerator sectors, saw no significant growth in demand, one
According to the China Bureau of Statistics, output of air
conditioners in China in June was 21.33 million units, up by
2.4% year-on-year. Total output from January to June was up by
10.2% year-on-year to 119.79 million units. Refrigerator output
was 7.46 million units in June, up by 2.8% year-on-year. Total
output from January to June was up by 4.5% to 42.50 million
Many producers of aluminium fluoride (AlF3) may have
switched over to production of hydrogen fluoride (HF), given
that the AlF3 market has also been subject to weak demand in
China this year.
This could reduce any price pressure on the raw materials
from a weak refrigerant market, which may now be seeing
oversupply of its feedstock.
"AlF3 prices crashed some months back, and then the AlF3
producers switched to producing HF, which caused an oversupply
in that market," one ex-China consumer said. "But it looks like
the HF market is now coming up a bit."
Fastmarkets does not assess the prices of either HF or
Metspar price edges up
The price of min 85% metspar for export from China rose by
$20 per tonne because strong domestic demand meant that there
was little material available for export.
Demand from the steel sector remained strong, so
domestically produced material was being consumed by Chinese
The price for fluorspar,
metspar, min 85% CaF2, fob China, was assessed on July 18
at $380-420 per tonne. This was up from $360-400 per tonne the
"With domestic demand from steel continuing to be strong, we
have seldom exported metspar recently," a fluorspar producer
said. "Domestic prices are around 2,600 yuan [$378] per tonne
for 80% grade, and 3,100-3,200 yuan per tonne for 90%