The initial consultation, which ends on June 15, has confirmed an appetite for third-party price assessments for tantalum, but the extension will allow time for market feedback on the specifications that have been revised in line with initial responses.

Fastmarkets has revised it's proposal to refer to tantalite min 25% TaO5 on a cif China basis, rather than tantalite 25% on an ex-works China basis.

Tantalum prices have found support in the past two months from supply tightness and concerns about obtaining material during the Covid-19-related lockdown in Rwanda. No tantalum mines have been allowed to operate during the lockdown in the country, which accounts for the majority of global tantalum output.

Buyers have been struggling to find cheap prompt units due to the increased levels of concern about the future availability of material. Tantalum prices are now at their highest level since the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, demand for tantalum is likely to continue to rise, with the electrification of homes and the increasing adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G communications technologies.

Tantalum is mainly used in high-performance capacitors, superalloys, aerospace components, and military and consumer electronics.

Following initial feedback, Fastmarkets has amended the proposed specification for the new price assessment as follows, with the amendments in italics:

Assessment: Tantalite, basis min 25% Ta2O5, cif China
Quality: Lump 0-10mm grain concentrate; Ta2O5 25% min; Nb2O5 15% min; U3O8+ThO2 0.10% max
Quantity: Minimum 10-tonne lots
Location: cif main ports China
Unit: USD per lb Ta2O5
Payment terms: Provisional payment against scan copy of the full set of documents, balance upon finalization or DP or provisional payment after arrival at destination port, balance upon finalization; other payment terms normalized.
Publication: Weekly; Fridays 2-3pm London time.

The extended consultation period for this proposed launch starts from June 16, 2020 and will end on July 16, 2020. The launch will then take place, subject to feedback, on July 24.

To provide feedback on this proposed launch or if you would like to provide price information by becoming a data submitter to this proposed price, please contact Ewa Manthey by email at: pricing@fastmarkets.com. Please add the subject heading ‘FAO: Ewa Manthey, re: Tantalum pricing.’

To see all Fastmarkets’ pricing methodology and specification documents go to https://www.fastmarkets.com/about-us/methodology.