Cadmium prices dropped on Wednesday December 4, as a lack of demand in China led to large volumes of material going into India, sources said.

In-warehouse Rotterdam prices for min 99.99% cadmium fell 4 cents to $0.86-0.96 per lb, from $0.90-$1 per lb on Friday November 29. Min 99.95% cadmium prices dropped to $0.82-0.92 per lb from $0.85-0.95 per lb.

“Before prices were clearly $0.90-1.00 and now I would bundle my grandmother in at $0.90. These prices have been and gone,” a trader said.

Cadmium prices had previously been holding steady since Wednesday September 11 as demand from Indian buyers counterbalanced a decline in demand from China.

But recently a lack of demand from China has caused the Indian market to become “flooded” with cadmium “coming out of the seams”, the trader said, adding that the glut had started to weigh on prices.

“We have done very little business into China, when normally we would have done more, so we turned to India. I think other traders have probably done the same thing and gone to the Indian market,” the first trader said.

Demand is weak in China because consumers have sufficient stocks and do not need to buy additional metal, an importer based in China said.

“The market is weaker out of inactivity from Chinese buyers and people trying to get rid of their stocks before the end of the year,” a second trader said.

A minor metals refiner said the drop in cadmium prices reflected an all- round weakness in the minor metals markets.

“In general, the fourth quarter is a soft market for all the minor metals, and cadmium has been very weak for some time,” the refiner said.

Chloe Smith