Key drivers 

  • Prompt supply in Europe is limited and spot demand is good, market sources said. 
  • Availability in Europe has been tight since the second half of last year because China has been importing large volumes of material amid a better demand outlook than in Europe. 
  • But weakening prices for substitute ferro-vanadium could put some pressure on the ferro-niobium market, market sources added. 
  • Both ferro-vanadium and ferro-niobium are used in the production of steel rebar and can be used interchangeably to meet the required tensile strength in some steel products. 
  • Fastmarkets launched the weekly price assessment for ferro-niobium, delivered consumer works Europe, duty paid on Wednesday following an extended consultation period.

Key quotes
“There are small units passing hands but it’s more difficult to find larger lots. There is not a lot of material around. Availability is tight” – European trader 1

“The market has been relatively quiet and with vanadium prices dipping lately, traders are hesitant to take a position in ferro-niobium” – European trader 2