GLOBAL ANTIMONY WRAP: European antimony prices start to increase; Chinese market stable

European antimony prices for standard grade II material edged higher last week amid improving sentiment while prices in China remained stable.

Metal Bulletin assessed MMTA standard grade II antimony in-warehouse Rotterdam prices at $7,900-8,100 per tonne on Friday November 10, up 0.9% from Wednesday, when prices had moved from $7,700-8,100 per tonne to $7,750-8,100 per tonne.

Trioxide grade antimony prices in-warehouse Rotterdam were assessed at $7,900-8,200 per tonne, unchanged from Wednesday.

“Perhaps we have reached the bottom and prices will start picking up from here,” an antimony trader said. “I wouldn’t want to be caught short at the moment, but I wouldn’t get too excited either.”

Offers were heard above the range for both of the grades during last week’s pricing assessments.

“I’m still a bit skeptical about the rising prices,” a producer said. “There is still a lot of confusion in the market. Demand remains low and there are no issues with the Vietnamese border but everyone is starting to raise their offers,” the producer added.

“Antimony is looking a bit more positive with prices creeping up. But I have a feeling this will run out of steam in December, so we should do business while we can in November,” a second trader said.

Meanwhile, antimony prices in the Chinese market were stable according to Metal Bulletin’s assessment on Friday November 10. Sentiment was positive due to more enquiries and higher prices in Europe.

Metal Bulletin assessed China’s MMTA standard grade II, ddp, antimony prices at 50,000-50,500 yuan ($7,529.13- 7,604.58) per tonne on Wednesday November 8, unchanged from a week ago.

Some traders offered at higher prices than the previous week, citing higher European deals behind the push up in Chinese domestic antimony prices, but also the lack of an actual deal.

“The offer prices for China’s MMTA standard grade II antimony prices are higher, [because] European prices have been up, and enquiries for Chinese antimony are increasing this week,” an antimony trader said, “the market now [has a] positive sentiment after a long period of lull.”

“However, the higher offer prices in the market is still a lack of buyers, no actual deals show that actual transaction prices have been up,” a second trader said.

“Two major producers in the Lengshuijiang area of Hunan province have resumed operations following the environmental inspections in the second quarter of the year, with more production expected in late November or December,” a source familiar with the Lengshuijiang situation said.

“Market supply is sufficient, although enquiries are increasing, [and there is] no solid evidence to prove transaction deal prices are increasing,” the source added.

“The Chinese domestic price uptrend is driving more demand from Europe, [so] we are expecting a higher price and more actual deal volumes in the next week,” a fourth Shanghai-based trader said.

Antimony prices wrap table