Bismuth’s half-hearted rally ends in China

Bismuth prices in China slipped on Friday March 2 for the first time since the Chinese New Year holiday, as buyers shied away from the market.

Bismuth prices in China slipped on Friday March 2 for the first time since the Chinese New Year holiday, as buyers shied away from the market.

Metal Bulletin bismuth prices in China dipped to 145,000-147,000 yuan per tonne ($10.5-10.6 per lb) compared with 146,000-148,000 yuan on Wednesday February 29.

“I have no plan to make a purchase now. My last lot was sold at 143,000 yuan. I foresee no major price advancements this year. It is simply a ride on the post holiday rally,” one trader in China said.

“I bought material at 137,000 yuan before the New Year,” she added.

Physical demand for bismuth ingots has come to a halt because overseas importers have plenty of stock to digest, sources told Metal Bulletin.

Chinese bismuth exports went down by 81% to 149 tonnes in January.

“I am seeing a stair step down for bismuth towards the 130,000 yuan target again, significant purchasing volumes any time soon are just wishful thinking,” one market participant said.

Major producers had expected buyers to come back into the market after February so they kept collecting material from smaller smelters, but this has now ceased.

Prices rebounded from a low of 129,000-132,000 yuan per tonne in mid-December on the back of this pre-emptive buying

“Bismuth is such a small and atypical market that it can easily become a victim of its own success when liquidity drains,” another source said.

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