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Jul 30

High-grade magnesia prices steady on lack of raw material supply

China’s high-grade magnesia prices were steady this week on a lack of high-quality magnesite, the raw material for magnesia, while the local government in Haicheng has remained strict on the use of explosives in mining.

China-origin magnesia prices assessed by Industrial Minerals were stable this week, while Chinese producers maintained prices for high-grade magnesia due to tight raw material supply.

Industrial Minerals’ assessed the dead burned magnesia (DBM), 97.5% MgO lump, price at $1,100-1,400 per tonne fob China on Tuesday March 20, unchanged from last week. While the DBM, 94-95% MgO lump price was also unchanged at $680-700 per tonne fob China.

“Supply for high-grade DBM remains tight due to a lack of high-quality raw materials, and there is no further news from local government to allow the use of explosives in mining,” a Haicheng producer told Industrial Minerals.

“Because of the shortage in high-quality raw materials, we haven’t started to produce DBM 95% and 97% and only have DBM 90% on hand. I think the government will not allow the usage of explosives in mining until May or June this year,” another producer in Haicheng said.

Meanwhile, the low-grade magnesia market was under pressure after sufficient stocks and thin buying activities kept prices stable this week. The price of DBM 90% MgO lump was unchanged at $240-280 per tonne fob China on Tuesday, while 92% MgO material was priced $280-300 per tonne, also steady from last week.

“With sufficient stocks of low-grade DBM 90%, prices are hard to move up and have kept flat this week. Overseas demand hasn’t picked up, and I received no bids and deals this week,” a trader in Dalian said.

“After China’s magnesia prices increased sharply last year, we also bought DBM from Russian and Turkish producers with narrowing price gaps. Chinese magnesia producers are unwilling to sign long-term contacts on a lack of raw materials, while we can sign long-term contacts with producers in other countries if prices are reasonable,” a consumer from the refractory sector told Industrial Minerals.

Fused magnesia (FM) prices held stable this week while producers received limited deals. The spot price of FM 97% MgO (Ca:Si 1:1) was assessed at $1,150-1,250 per tonne fob China on March 20 and 97% MgO (Ca:Si 2:1) held stable at $1,250-1,400 per tonne on March 20.

Weak trading activity for caustic calcined magnesia (CCM) has meant prices did not move this week. The prices for 90-92% MgO CCM material held at $205-230 per tonne on March 20, as well as 94% MgO CCM at $240-260 per tonne and 96% MgO CCM material at $335-355 per tonne.

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