FOCUS: Smuggling crackdown takes antimony market by surprise

China’s growing focus on antimony smuggling along the China-Vietnam border has left many in the antimony market worried they will not get their contracts fulfilled.

Over 3,000 tonnes of antimony was seized in a smuggling crackdown operation last week by Chinese customs officials, several sources familiar with the matter told Metal Bulletin.
The crackdown started in the early morning of Wednesday August 8, with more than 3,000 tonnes of antimony ingot and 11 suspects seized in a joint operation involving over 90 customs officials from Changsha in Hunan province, Nanning in Guangxi Autonomous Region, Guangzhou in Guangdong province and Beijing.
The operation by customs officials came after several “tens of tonnes” of illegal antimony were intercepted at the China-Vietnam border on August 8, the sources said.
“The market is in a panic mode,” a source in China said. “I heard that customs officials had confiscated some computers and notebooks including details of suppliers, tonnages. More people involved may get caught soon.”

The crackdown has created a sudden shortage of material as some...

Published

Anna Xu

Ewa Manthey

August 16, 2018

16:31 GMT

London, Shanghai