(AMM) Rhenium buyers bracing for expiration of low-priced Molymet contracts

The days of low-priced rhenium from Molibdenos y Metales SA (Molymet) are coming to an end with the expiration of several long-term supply agreements between the Chilean producer and its aerospace engine manufacturer customers.

As negotiations to renew contracts, which historically have been long-term and at fixed prices, get under way, major rhenium consumers are bracing for higher prices.

The current contracts?signed under the leadership of Terry Adams, who acted as Molymet's European marketing agent for molybdenum and rhenium from 1989 until his death in a car crash in Sweden in 2008?were largely negotiated at below-market prices of less than $1,000 a pound compared with current spot prices of between $2,000 and $2,250 a pound, market sources told AMM.

The latest Chilean export figures confirm the long-term contracts' low prices, with some 16,600 kilograms (36,600 pounds), or more than 70 percent of the country's total rhenium exports, priced under $2,000 per kg ($907 per pound) last year. Some exports were even reported at prices as low as $1,215 per kg ($551 per pound).

But a...

Published

September 08, 2010

20:30 GMT

NEW YORK