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Low-grade magnesia prices fall while stocks rise

Chinese low-grade magnesia prices moved downward because of increasing stock levels amid thin buying activity among downstream refractory producers, while high-grade magnesia prices were unchanged on a lack of magnesite ore.

All prices for low grades of China-origin caustic calcined magnesia (CCM), dead burned magnesia (DBM) and fused magnesia (FM), assessed by Industrial Minerals, moved down this week because of continuously rising stock levels in a flat market.

The fob China prices for CCM 90-92% MgO were down to $180-220 per tonne on Tuesday March 27, from $205-230 per tonne last week.

The price for DBM 90% MgO lump was $220-280 per tonne, down from $240-280 per tonne a week earlier.
And the price of FM 97% MgO (Ca:Si 1:1) fell by $50 per tonne to $1,100-1,200 per tonne.

Demand from overseas buyers remained slow and they were in no hurry to replenish stockpiles while waiting for lower prices. Some traders in Dalian also confirmed there were no fewer ships delivering magnesia from Bayuquan port recently.

«Chinese domestic prices of low-grade magnesia fell on sporadic buying and higher stocks. We lowered export prices following the downtrend in the domestic market, but have concluded no new deals this week,» a Haicheng magnesia producer said.

Meanwhile, high-grade magnesia prices remained at their current levels this week with high-quality magnesite still in tight supply.

«The local government hasn’t released any news about relaxing control of explosives in mining, and most magnesia producers still face limitations on how to achieve high-quality magnesite ore to produce high-grade magnesia,» another Haicheng producer said.

The fob China prices for high-grade CCM materials held stable this week $240-260 per tonne for 94% MgO, and $335-355 per tonne for 96% MgO.

The price of DBM, 97.5% MgO, lump, was unchanged at $1,100-1,400 per tonne fob China on March 27, and the price of DBM, 94-95% MgO, lump, held firm at $680-700 per tonne fob China.

The price of 97% MgO (Ca:Si 2:1) was also stable at $1,250-1,400 per tonne.

Several producers told Industrial Minerals that «if the government permits the use of explosives, high-quality magnesia prices will also face downward pressure with more spot materials rushing into the market.»

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