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The tightness in the fluorspar market that has been experienced by producers globally and by consumers outside China so far this year meant that the country’s imports and exports of the commodity were a key topic of discussion at Fastmarkets IM’s fluorspar conference.
Diminished supplies of fluorspar in the Chinese market, at a time when the country’s end-markets have remained strong, has led market participants to wonder whether China is now a net importer of the material, according to delegates at Fastmarkets’ annual fluorspar conference.
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From Industrial Minerals.
First published: Tuesday, 08 August 2017
In June, fluorspar imports increased while exports decreased and downstream industries such as aluminium fluoride and hydrofluoric acid performed well with high higher exports and average prices.
The quantity of fluorspar (CaF≤97%) imported into China jumped 72.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) and 13.13% month-on-month (m-o-m) to 18,055 tonnes, with an average import price $133.47/tonne. Mongolia and North Korea accounted for 87% and 12.7% of imports respectively.
Mean while exports of the mineral dropped 34.9% y-o-y and 13.68% m-o-m to 13,777 tonnes, but the average export price remained stable at $228.4/tonne as in May and June, and slightly up 1.8% y-o-y.
For fluorspar CaF>97%, export volumes fell by 55.5% y-o-y and 64.3% m-o-m to a mere 8,941 tonnes, but the average export price in June was as high as $276.41/tonne, surging 25.81% y-o-y and 9.92% m-o-m. India and South Korea accounted for 64% and 34% respectively and their average price was $273.6 and $260/tonne respectively. 92% came from Guangdong Province.
Imports of fluorspar CaF>97%, meanwhile, reached the highest since March 2016, surging 106.5% y-o-y to 6,358 tonnes in June with an average price increasing to $246.42/tonne. 99.95% of imports came from Vietnam.
Downstream, aluminum fluoride export volumes in June were 4,695 tonnes, down 50.6% y-o-y and 32.77% lower m-o-m.
But average prices for aluminium fluoride exported reached the highest levels in the recent four years at $1,213.29/tonne, up 24% y-o-y and 7% m-o-m. Russia accounted for 45%, followed by Australia at 29%, New Zealand at 16% and the United States at 5%. Both Australia and New Zealand had over 80% y-o-y increase while other countries all had decrease.
Hydrofluoric acid performed even better, both its export quantity and average export price hit historic peaks at 25,666 tonnes and $1,524.71/tonne in June. Volumes were up 32.2% y-o-y and 39.75% m-o-m while the average price was up 43% y-o-y and 14% m-o-m. Japan accounted for 44%, followed by South Korea 22%, Taiwan 15%, Vietnam 4%, etc. All countries had significant y-o-y increase, except USA and Ukraine.
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Tertiary Minerals (TYM) – Building a strategic position in Fluorspar
- Become a reliable long-term and competitive supplier of fluorspar to world markets
- Revenue generating in the near term
- Add value to the Group’s mineral projects
- Discovery, acquisition and development of mineral resources
Potential Near-Term Revenue Generating Opportunities
Sale of non-core gold assets
The company recently announced the sale of its two non-core gold assets in Finland to Aurion Resources. Further to the initial consideration for the sale of the two projects, Tertiary have retained a pre-production royalty and Net Smelter Returns Royalty (NSR) of 2% on all future gold production from either property.
Potential near-term news flow and milestones
- Resolution of 25-year Exploitation (Mine) Permit in Sweden.
- Scoping Study completion for the MB Fluorspar project in Nevada, USA.
- Acquisition opportunities.