PRICING NOTICE: Launch of ferro-niobium price assessment

Fastmarkets will, on Wednesday March 17, launch a weekly price assessment for ferro-niobium, delivered consumer works Europe, duty paid.

After an extended consultation period, which originally began on January 25 and was then extended by two weeks on February 16, Fastmarkets will launch a weekly price assessment for ferro-niobium, delivered consumer works Europe, duty paid on March 17, to expand its coverage of the ferro-alloys market.

The extended consultation confirmed an appetite for third-party price assessments for ferro-niobium and the originally proposed specification has been amended in line with feedback from market participants.

As a result of that feedback, Fastmarkets has revised the niobium (Nb) content to 63-67% Nb, rather than 60-70% Nb as originally proposed, and has revised the max phosphorus (P) content limit to 0.20% P max, rather than the proposed 0.15% P max.

Fastmarkets’ specifications are intended to be wide enough to incorporate as much spot market activity as possible, while also being narrow enough to cover a mainstream, tradeable range that reflects changing market trends and captures price moves.

The specifications for the new price assessment are listed in full below:

MB-FN-0001: Ferro-niobium 63-67%, delivered consumer works Europe, duty paid, $/kg Nb
Quality: 10-50mm lump. Nb 63-67%, C 0.2% max, Si 3.0% max, Al 1-2%, S 0.15% max, P 0.20% max, Ta 0.5% max
Quantity: Minimum 5-tonne lots
Location: Delivered consumer works Europe
Unit: USD per kg Nb
Payment terms: Cash. Other payment terms normalized
Publication: Weekly, Wednesday 2-3pm London time
Notes: Packaged in 250kg drums or one-tonne big bags

Over the past few years, steel mills have been showing more interest in purchasing ferro-niobium following China’s revised rebar policy, which came into effect on November 1, 2018, and resulted in vanadium prices soaring to multi-year highs. The policy 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.

Both ferro-vanadium and ferro-niobium are used in the production of steel rebar and can be used interchangeably to meet the required tensile strength in some steel products.

To provide feedback on this price or if you would like to provide price information by becoming a data submitter to this price, please contact Ewa Manthey by email at: [email protected]. Please add the subject heading ‘FAO: Ewa Manthey, re: ferro-niobium.’

To see all Fastmarkets’ pricing methodology and specification documents go to https://www.fastmarkets.com/about-us/methodology.

In 2020, Fastmarkets carried out a consultation on the launch of this price, which showed there was market participant support for the proposal, however, the launch was postponed after liquidity in the spot market thinned substantially because of weakening demand and global uncertainty amid the global Covid-19 outbreak.

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