GLOBAL ANTIMONY WRAP: European market remains firm; Chinese prices rebound

Antimony prices in Europe remained firm last week while Chinese prices rebounded with more inquiries seen in the spot market.

Metal Bulletin assessed MMTA standard grade II antimony in-warehouse Rotterdam prices at $7,900-8,100 per tonne on Friday November 17, unchanged from Wednesday, when prices were also unchanged.

Trioxide grade antimony prices in-warehouse Rotterdam were assessed at $7,900-8,200 per tonne, unchanged from Wednesday, when they also had stayed stable.

“There’s been positive momentum since the beginning of this month,” a market participant in Europe said. “I think we still have some room for the prices to rise. I wouldn’t do any deal below $8,000 right now.”

“I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries recently and there is nothing left for December shipment. The market is getting stronger,” a trader said.

“I still have mixed feelings about the market,” a consumer said. “The market is quite strong in China with some producers holding back their offers and there is a general overexcitement in China with some traders trying to push prices up,” the consumer added.

Prices outside of the range were reported for small quantities.

Metal Bulletin assessed China’s MMTA standard grade II antimony delivered duty-paid prices at 51,500-52,000 yuan ($7,803-7,879) per tonne on Wednesday November 15, up 3% from one week ago.

“I am quoting 52,000 yuan per tonne and sold a batch at 51,500 yuan. More [domestic] inquiries came to us the past two weeks after the price rebounded in Europe,” a Yunnan-based producer said.

A consumer also confirmed the price rebound in China and reported that he has bought some at 51,500-52,000 yuan per tonne fearing that price could rise further.

“Demand is [in a] lull for antimony trioxide [consuming 70% of antimony metal], but one large supplier has finished its sales tasks for 2017, so there will be not much pressure for underselling before the year-end,” the consumer of antimony metal said.

However, some small producers may need to return cash before the year-end and the Chinese Spring Festival holiday (February 15-21), and before that some western customers will leave for Christmas holiday in late December, so market participants are not very optimistic about the market in the following months.

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