What is the tungsten outlook for the year ahead? Market participants discuss what happened in 2017 and what could be next in 2018.
This time last year, analysts believed tungsten could see a recovery in prices, and their predictions turned out to be correct.
The metal’s price rebounded in the first half of 2017 on the back of supply concerns and steady demand. But what’s the tungsten outlook for 2018?
“Despite increasing supply, continued demand in 2018 is forecast to form a supply deficit as operations in China continue to experience suspensions,” David Merriman, Roskill’s deputy manager said. He also expects restricted output and supply from the rest of the world to remain flat.
He added that in 2018 it will be key to watch what happens in China, the world’s top tungsten producing country, as any changes in the Asian country could impact the tungsten market.
“If supply disruptions in China worsen and affect major producers for a prolonged period, the forecast supply deficit could intensify and higher tungsten prices are likely to ensue,” he added.
Looking ahead, Knick Exploration President and CEO Jacques Brunelle said that just like graphite or cobalt, tungsten will be the “flavor of the day, most likely in mid-2018,” supported by a major increase in space development.
“Shareholders will be on rendezvous when the market picks up, and it will be a very bullish market when they understand that America holds strategic minerals like tungsten without foreign intervention. That’s something China doesn’t know,” he added.
In 2018, Knick Exploration is planning a drill program at its Trecesson gold-tungsten-base-metals project, where large veins at the surface contain 2.5 to 27 percent tungsten trioxide associated with gold.
“I believe we hold the best values in tungsten trioxide in Eastern Canada — all we need is the truth machine, the drill rig,” Brunelle said.
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