Ferro-tungsten prices in Europe continued to weaken on Wednesday June 10, dropping below $30 per kg on both ends of the range.

Metal Bulletin’s quotation moved down to $29.40-29.75 per kg, from $29.70-31.50 previously, and remained close to levels last seen in 2010.

Prices have declined almost continuously over the course of the past twelve months, from $42.30-43.30 per kg in June last year, down to Wednesday’s levels.

“There are many possible reasons. Some people have said tungsten concentrate prices have fallen. That will have, or had already had, an impact on ferro-tungsten prices,” a trader said.

Indeed, Metal Bulletin’s Chinese tungsten concentrate price dropped from 81,000-82,000 yuan $13,209-13,372) per tonne to 80,000-81,000 yuan on Wednesday.

“There are also some rumours that some material made from scrap is available in Europe that someone imported and is offering. That might have high cobalt, arsenic and molybdenum levels,” the trader added.

“The third reason is the summer holiday. Some people are destocking now. We don’t see any major enquiries for ferro-tungsten now.”

There are also indications that more material may be coming out of China in the wake of the removal of the export tax, sources have said.

The problem, a second trader said, is that stocks are still present in Rotterdam, and some market participants are loath to move them as they want to avoid losing more money.

“The Western trade won’t buy. You ship at $29.50 and by the time it gets there, it’s gone down to $28.50,” he said.

Claire Hack
Twitter: @clairehack_mb