Features

  • Syrah Resources returns MMM April 2021

    Graphite company Syrah Resources plans to ramp up its flake output with a flexible approach to production, chief executive officer Shaun Verner told Jon Stibbs in late-February Read More

  • Graphite outlook MMM April 2021

    The flake graphite market, especially for fines, looks set to come under pressure through 2021 while increasing supply outweighs the growth of demand, Jon Stibbs and Sybil Pan report. Read More

  • LFP battery resurgence alters price dynamics MMM April 2021

    Changing preferences for lithium-ion battery chemistries in China have altered relative lithium prices, Susan Zou and Carrie Shi report. Read More

  • Tight supply forecast MMM April 2021

    Lithium supply is set to be tight in 2021, despite a ramp-up in output, William Adams reports. Read More

  • Download the April 2021 issue of MMM 14 April 2021

    Welcome to the April 2021 issue of Metal Market Magazine, where we look at how lithium is getting hot again after a long price slump amid expected supply shortage issues, as well as the multiple pressure points that could hit the global graphite market. Read More

  • Download the March 2021 issue of MMM MMM March 2021

    Welcome to the March 2021 issue of Metal Market Magazine, where we take stock of the latest developments in oilfield mineral markets, the outlook for steel tube and pipe and the US President Joe Biden administration's take on that country's supply chains. Read More

  • Biden’s initiatives set to boost US supply chains MMM March 2021

    The change in direction on the part of the new United States administration with a greater focus on domestic manufacturing and local supply chains will benefit established and developing industrial minerals as well as metals sectors, including steel, rare earths, graphite and lithium, Davide Ghilotti and Mark Shenk report. Read More

  • Oilfield minerals see recovery in demand MMM March 2021

    Low oil prices and consequently much-reduced rig activity depressed demand for oilfield minerals last year, but the industry is staging a recovery in 2021, reports William Clarke Read More

  • OCTG markets show glimmers of recovery MMM March 2021

    The international impacts of the Covid-19 global pandemic in 2020 were severe, but Fastmarkets’ tube and pipe research team* detect the early signs of market recovery during 2021 and forecast better years ahead. Read More

  • Inka Guixà: ‘The family is at the service of the company and not the other way around’ MMM March 2021

    In her early career, La Farga CEO Inka Guixà had not considered working for the business founded by her father and grandfather, but in her late-20s she accepted an invitation to join the company and assist in its expansion. She recounts her route to the top of the business and discusses the outlook for copper with Andrea Hotter. Read More

  • Download the February 2021 issue of MMM MMM February 2021

    Welcome to the February 2021 issue of Metal Market Magazine, where we feature an in-depth look at the issues surrounding Chinese bauxite supply, the effect of environmental controls on bauxite and fused alumina output, and a gradual improvement in trading conditions for calcined alumina. Read More

  • Calcined alumina sellers see demand returning MMM February 2021

    Calcined alumina suppliers hope the recent increase in demand they have noted will prompt a rebound in prices later in the year. Read More

  • China's brown fused alumina exports tumble in 2020 MMM February 2021

    China’s exports of refractory-grade bauxite and white fused alumina dropped slightly in 2020, while exports of brown fused alumina plunged by 26%, owing to preference for lower-priced WFA according to sources. Read More

  • Environmental controls squeeze fused alumina, bauxite supply MMM February 2021

    Supply uncertainty facing the refractories raw material sector is to continue in the first quarter of 2021 due to regulations in major Chinese production hubs for bauxite and fused alumina, as well as surging logistics costs. Read More

  • Bauxite shortage likely for refractories MMM February 2021

    Refractory raw material consumers are likely to face shortages in bauxite, with the continued supply and logistics bottlenecks from China coming against a low-stock situation in destination markets. Read More

  • The perils and merits of ‘fake flake’ graphite MMM January 2021

    More instances of “fake flake” graphite being sold as genuine material have been reported, especially as large flake sizes. Fastmarkets spoke with market sources to gauge this material’s effect on the market and its uses when sold correctly. Read More

  • Freight rate rises squeeze trader profits MMM January 2021

    The recent surge in container freight costs and limited cargo space are disrupting flows and crushing traders’ profits. Read More

  • Chromite market’s uncertain footing MMM January 2021

    Multiple push and pull factors continue to affect supply and demand for chromite, with market participants struggling to see beyond the immediate future. Read More

  • Stricter controls ease magnesia oversupply in China MMM January 2021

    Tighter controls on mining activity in China’s Liaoning province and strict environmental regulations have eased the oversupply of magnesia in the country, stirring up an optimistic price outlook for 2021. Read More

  • Download the January 2021 issue of MMM MMM January 2021

    Welcome to the January 2021 issue of Metal Market Magazine, where we include an analysis on the soaring freight costs out of China, the uncertain outlook for chromite, a tightening of magnesia supply and a focus on so-called ‘fake’ graphite. Read More

  • Download the November-December 2020 issue of MMM MMM November - December 2020

    Welcome to the November-December 2020 issue of Metal Market Magazine, where we feature a focus section on battery raw materials, especially lithium and its latest industry developments. Read More

  • Recyclability revisited MMM November - December 2020

    In ever more environmentally conscious times, the recyclability of steel and aluminium packaging has come to the fore around the full circle of the supply chain, reports Gregory DL Morris Read More

  • Mining and recycling strategic battery metals MMM November - December 2020

    As part of a strategy to diversify its activities, the Germany-based international plant builder and engineering business SMS group is applying its technological expertise to processing ores and the means to recycle lithium batteries. Chief technology officer Hans Ferkel and senior vice president for strategic project development Herbert Weissenbaeck discuss the group’s plans and progress with Richard Barrett Read More

  • All things lithium MMM November - December 2020

    When Fastmarkets held its major digital conference about lithium supply and markets in late October, its reporters captured highlights of the event. The supply chain from mining through to recycling, investments, market fundamentals, prices and price risk management were covered and here we bring together a summary of the key points Read More

  • Ali Al Baqali ‘We had to find our balance in this new reality’ MMM November - December 2020

    Alba CEO Ali Al Baqali worked long and hard to get the qualifications and experience he needed to lead the major aluminium producer in Bahrain. Andrea Hotter discusses his path to the top with him and the company’s strategy now in challenging global markets for primary aluminium producers Read More

  • INTERVIEW: ‘First and foremost, we’re a commercial trading company’ - Trafigura's Jeremy Weir MMM October 2020

    Trafigura’s revenue was $171.5 billion in 2019, with group businesses in metals, oil, power & renewables and shipping. Andrea Hotter talks strategy with the chief executive officer, Jeremy Weir Read More

  • China’s magnesia hit by fall in global demand MMM October 2020

    Global demand for magnesia has fallen significantly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with most magnesia prices falling to their lowest levels since before the market rally in 2017. Read More

  • Trade wars, 'green' outlook rejuvenate rare earths MMM October 2020

    With government support for rare earths mining increasing, a growing number of miners – including mineral sands producers – now see value in a market that, for a long time, was effectively closed to non-Chinese producers due to its high costs and strict environmental regulations. Read More

  • Titanium dioxide makers aim for a steady course MMM October 2020

    Price stabilization and inventory control are bearing fruit for titanium dioxide and mineral sand producers, even as Covid-19 rocks pigment markets. Read More

  • Download the October 2020 issue of MMM MMM October 2020

    Welcome to the October 2020 issue of Metal Market Magazine, where we delve into the markets of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and mineral sands, as well as rare earths and Chinese magnesia. Read More

  • Download the September 2020 issue of MMM MMM September 2020

    Welcome to the September 2020 issue of Metal Market Magazine, where we feature our usual annual insight into the refractories raw materials industry, including andalusite, bauxite, magnesia and fused alumina. Read More

  • Balancing sluggish demand with tight supply in bauxite MMM September 2020

    Refractory-grade bauxite prices have held firm due to tightening supply despite the uncertainties caused the Covid-19 pandemic. Read More

  • Brown fused alumina prices driven downwards MMM September 2020

    Low capacity utilization at China’s kilns for production of brown fused alumina was weighing heavily on the markets, driven by weak demand for refractories. Read More

  • Chinese magnesia prices challenge other producing regions MMM September 2020

    The European magnesia markets have been very sluggish so far in 2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic striking while consumers were trying to cut back swollen inventories. Read More

  • Andalusite seeks new balance amid shifts in supply, demand MMM September 2020

    The andalusite market has been rocked by a drop in supplies following closures related to the Covid-19 pandemic in producing countries, and a subsequent adjustment in demand in some consuming markets. But sources believe that a new balance is in sight. Read More

  • Download the July-August 2020 issue of MMM MMM July - August 2020

    Welcome to the July-August 2020 issue of the Metal Market Magazine, where we look at supply and demand patterns for chromite and its foundry end uses, as well as an outlook for battery raw materials as automotive battles the coronavirus pandemic. Read More

  • Battery raw materials hit by a triple whammy MMM July - August 2020

    Battery raw material prices were on lows for the year in mid-July and spot battery-grade lithium prices were also at multi-year lows, writes William Adams, Fastmarkets head of research for base metals and battery materials. Read More

  • Chromite: A silent market MMM July - August 2020

    Evolving market dynamics in foundry-grade chromite have reshaped trading patterns between South Africa and China, resulting in an almost silent market. Read More

  • Covid-19 halts chromite price slide MMM July - August 2020

    The Covid-19 pandemic has reversed a long-term fall in chromite prices while supply dried up, but weak demand could cap continued price rises. Read More

  • INTERVIEW: Leading through times of global crisis MMM July - August 2020

    Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, mining executives are being forced to take swift action and make tough decisions as prices fall, economies contract and demand in key consuming industries declines. Read More

  • INTERVIEW: ‘I believe AK Steel is a diamond in the rough’ - Lourenco Goncalves MMM June 2020

    Battle tested, hard-nosed, and, at times, known to be very blunt, the top executive of the largest and oldest independent iron ore mining company in the US has been called many things in an almost 40-year career spent from one end of the steel supply chain to the other. Fearful is not one of them. Read More

  • Taking the brakes off auto production MMM June 2020

    Steel mills and service centers expect a slow restart to auto making, reports Gregory DL Morris. Read More

  • Oil price falls crush frac sand demand MMM June 2020

    The global Covid-19 pandemic has plunged the oil market into an unprecedented slump, threatening a complete reshaping of the oilfield mineral market. One of the hardest hit industries is likely to be frac sand mining. Read More

  • China reawakens from virus-induced slumber MMM June 2020

    While China’s ports have resumed normal operations, markets for refractories are sluggish. Read More

  • Download the June 2020 issue of MMM MMM June 2020

    Welcome to the June 2020 issue of the Metal Market Magazine, where we analyze how oilfields minerals supply chains will change following Covid-19, and take a look at the restarting automotive industry. Read More

  • Soda ash faces new market forces MMM May 2020

    As the global soda ash industry adjusts to shifts in market fundamentals, Laura Syrett considers the outlook for the mineral’s key sectors and emerging applications. Read More

  • Logistics within China recover after Covid-19 MMM May 2020

    China’s domestic logistics are returning to normal, but overseas demand has been curbed by the Covid-19 virus. Read More

  • Oil price slump rocks oilfield mineral outlook MMM May 2020

    Oilfield mineral markets have been rocked by negative oil prices. Read More

  • INTERVIEW: ‘I am a policy guy’ - AISI chief Tom Gibson MMM May 2020

    After 12 years at the helm and two global crises, the president and chief executive officer of the American Iron and Steel Institute is setting sail to calmer seas. Read More

  • Download the May 2020 issue of MMM MMM May 2020

    Welcome to the May 2020 issue of the Metal Market Magazine, which features an in-depth update and outlook on soda ash, as well as Chinese logistics and faltering oil prices. Read More

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