The new rebar policy, effective November 1, 2018, requires Chinese steel mills to eliminate the original 335 megapascals (MPa)-tensile strength rebar and start producing 600MPa-tensile strength rebar, which has better earthquake resistance.
In doing so, the policy encourages domestic Chinese mills to utilize greater volumes of alloys to meet the revised strength requirements. The policy also seeks to restrict the production of rebar via the water-quenching process, which produces rebar that has lower durability because it rusts easily and therefore poses a risk to building safety.
Chinese mills were expected to add 0.03-0.05% of vanadium for HRB400 rebar and 0.05-0.08% for HRB500 rebar to meet the new standards, according to market participants, which in turn would bring about greater demand for vanadium products and thus provide support to their respective prices.
Speaking to Fastmarkets, one market participant said if China’s new rebar policy was strictly adhered throughout the domestic industry, this would generate...