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Dic 16

China’s magnesia prices static in quiet post-holiday market

China’s magnesia market has showed no changes in the first week after the Lunar New Year, with prices holding at current levels while more market players are yet to return from holiday this week.

China’s magnesia prices held steady after the holiday amid thin spot buying, while market logistics gradually began to recover this week and more buyers are away and not due to return until after the Lantern Festival on February 19.
Domestic prices remained soft this week due to weak demand from downstream buyers, though some producers have already resumed production and others will resume production next week.

“Our factory hasn’t resumed production this week as most workers haven’t returned from holiday. The market is quiet in both the domestic and export sectors and there are no changes on the spot market. [Ship and truck] cargo transportation has just started to recover as well,” a producer told Fastmarkets IM.

China’s magnesia market has been pressured by continuous mining restrictions and the prohibition of explosives due to stricter environmental regulations in Liaoning province over 2018, which have continued into 2019. There has been speculation on whether China’s government will remove the explosives ban in the first half of 2019, but currently no further news has been reported.

“We haven’t started new purchases this week because we are fresh back from holidays, and we still hold a watchful attitude toward the market. If the government re-permits explosives on magnesite mining this year, I think prices will have some downtrend potential,” a buyer said.

Fastmarkets IM’s assessment of the fused magnesia (FM) 97% MgO (Ca:Si 1:1) price was at $950-1,050 per tonne fob China on February 12, unchanged week on week.

While the Fastmarkets IM assessment of the price for the FM 97% MgO (Ca:Si 2:1) market was at $1,200-1,300 per tonne on Tuesday February 12, also stable with the previous week.

The price assessment for the dead-burned magnesia (DBM) 90% MgO lump market was at $230-260 per tonne fob China on February 12, also flat with the previous week.

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