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China’s tungsten consumers lift 2H January bid prices

China’s primary tungsten material consumers Xiamen Tungsten and Zhangyuan Tungsten have raised their bid prices for tungsten concentrate and ammonium paratungstate (APT) for the second half of January, in response to higher spot prices.

Zhangyuan increased its APT bid price by 1,800 yuan/t ($279/t) to Yn133,000/t for the second half of January from Yn131,200/t in the first half of the month. The firm also raised its bid price for 55pc grade wolframite concentrate to Yn87,000/t from Yn85,800/t over the same period.

Xiamen Tungsten on 19 January raised its second-half January bid price for APT to Yn132,500/t, up from Yn130,500/t in the first half of the month.

Zhangyuan has an output capacity of 1,500 t/yr for cemented carbide, 10,000 t/yr for APT, 8,000 t/yr for tungsten powder and 6,000 t/yr for tungsten carbide. It is a large consumer of primary tungsten materials, such as APT and tungsten concentrate. The company can meet a third of its tungsten concentrate demand from its six in-house mines.

Xiamen Tungsten produces and sells tungsten, molybdenum, rare earths and new energy materials. It operates an integrated tungsten supply chain, from primary mining and smelting to processing and recycling. It produced 23,173t of APT, 8,451t of tungsten powder and 4,175t of cemented carbide in 2019. Xiamen Tungsten also buys APT to feed its powder production.

Prices for 88.5pc grade APT were last assessed stable at Yn133,000-135,000/t ex-works on 19 January. The range for 55pc grade wolframite concentrate held flat at Yn87,500-88,500/t ex-works yesterday, with more deals concluded over the past week as some trading firms offloaded stocks to generate cash for year-end accounting purposes.

Key consumers’ bid prices for the second half of January are lower than spot prices, which are likely to hold stable in the near term as concentrate and APT producers are not keen to destock before the 11-17 February lunar new year holiday. Year-end maintenance at many smelters and power shortages in south China have continued to pressure production and prompt producers to withhold material from sales at lower prices.

Bid prices for 88.5pc APT (Yn/t)
Period Xiamen Tungsten Zhangyuan Tungsten
1H July 121,000 121,000
2H July 123,000 123,500
1H August 125,500 125,500
2H August 126,000 126,000
1H September 128,800 131,000
2H September 128,500 128,500
1H October 128,000 127,500
2H October 127,000 126,500
1H November 124,500 124,000
2H November 124,500 125,000
1H December 126,500 126,500
2H December 129,000 129,000
1H January 130,500 131,200
2H January 132,500 133,000

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