Vanadium prices rebound on South Africa lockdown but demand concerns persist

Vanadium prices in Europe have found support from reduced supply after the South African government lockdown forced producers there to place their operations on care and maintenance, although worries persist that collapsing demand could offset supply concerns.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown on Monday March 23, stating it would run from midnight on March 26 until April 16.
All of the country’s mines and smelters have been required to cease operations during the period, Fastmarkets understands.
South Africa has around 10% of vanadium production market share, according to Fastmarkets analysts, mostly from only two producers, Glencore and Bushveld Minerals.
Glencore produces around 9,000 tonnes per year, or 750 tonnes per month, of vanadium from its Rhovan operations, while Bushveld is producing around 3,000 tpy, or 250 tpm from its Vametco and Vanchem operations.
In response to the shutdowns, Fastmarkets’ ferro-vanadium basis 78% V min, 1st grade, ddp Western Europe price moved up by 5% to $23-24.95 per kg on Friday April 3 from the midweek assessment of $22-23.65 per kg in an active spot market.

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Ewa Manthey

April 07, 2020

15:31 GMT