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    RMB50,000, an acceptable price for Antimony by buyers and sellers
    ----Interview with Wang Jiangen
    General Manager
    Yiyang Huachang Antimony Industry Co., Ltd.
    Yiyang Huachang Antimony Industry Co., Ltd. wholly restructured by Hunan Huachang Antimony Industry Co., Ltd., Yiyang Huachang Antimony Industry Co., Ltd. has become a large-scale enterprise with capacity of 10,000t and total assets of RMB100 million at present after more than 50 years' development on basis of its predecessor Yiyang Antimony Products Manufacturing Plant, which also successfully acquired the entity of "Bailong" and its product series in June 2005. The company took the lead to pass the ISO9002 international quality system certification in 1997 amid all antimony enterprises in China, becoming the second largest enterprise in China and also the one with the most comprehensive antimony product range, which is listed as one of the supply base for national antimony exports in China by the Ministry of Commerce in China. The company's trademark of "Huachang" has been listed in "Famous Trademarks in Hunan" so far from 1997 after the verification by the Trademark Office of State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) in China. Its leading products, antimony trioxide in brand of "Huachang", are sold to more than 20 counties including Japan, Europe, US, Southeast Asia, etc., which have attained long-lasting quality reputation. The company developed the new-type environmental flame retardant antimony trioxide based on great efforts in accordance with the policy trend both at home and abroad, which are widely reorganized by consumers due to its high efficiency after promoted to the market and the company is also granted the certificate of "Hunan High-tech Products and High-tech Enterprise Certification". The company's official website: http://www.hcantimony.com/index.htm

    Asian Metal: First of all, please introduce the latest status of your company.

    Mr. Wang: With capacity of 15,000tpy for antimony trioxide, we maintain the conservative annual output at around 8,000t with about 50% for exports. "Huachang" antimony trioxide products have been sold to more than 20 counties including Japan, Europe, US, Southeast Asia, etc. and are widely reorganized by consumers. In addition, we only focus on high-end brands with major products of antimony trioxide 99.8%, antimony trioxide 99.9% and deep-processing for customized products. From sales in the past few years, we have maintained a marginal growth.

    Asian Metal: What do you think of the price fallback and consolidation on the antimony market in H2 of 2017?

    Mr. Wang: I think the market price decline in H2 of 2017 is a rational return of the market. Firstly, although the environmental inspection was enhanced and producers' operating rate was lowered, the overall material circulation on the market was still in surplus compared with the demand; secondly, some stock holders rushed to clear stocks for recouping funds due to capital stains; thirdly, the number of virtually high offers was reduced based on relatively stable processing cost, guiding the market back to a healthy state.
    Up till now, market prices for antimony ingot have been maintained at about RMB50,000-53,000/t (USD7,825-8,295/t), which is a reasonable range in consideration of environmental, mining, labor factors and the downward possibility is limited. However, the pressure to be conquered will be much higher if the price moves upwards. For example, material supply from regions like Haifang, etc. will greatly reduce our normal exports; the sluggish end market will also burden on the market price.

    Asian Metal: The overseas market of antimony trioxide has been running slowly recently. What's your opinion about this?

    Mr. Wang: We believe that the rigid demand still exists on overseas market; furthermore, the number for domestic suppliers is indeed shrinking in 2017 and we are also faced up with the situation that orders can only be delivered after about one month. However, on one hand, the export market in China faces fierce competition and overseas consumers are in low interests in bulk purchases in company with bet on the market and underselling. On the other hand, constructions of antimony smelters around China have consecutively completed, partly replenishing the overseas demand. Thus, the overseas market is relatively quiet.

    Asian Metal: What do you think of the prospect of antimony market at home and abroad next year?

    Mr. Wang: Taking antimony ingot as an example, we think that the price of about RMB50,000/t (USD7,825/t) is a basic price acceptable for both suppliers and consumers at present, which however might increase in 2018 in view of current market and the reasons are as follows. Firstly, China is much more dependent on overseas mining due to limited resources and raw material falls in shortage due to insufficient antimony concentrate. Secondly, the normalization of environmental inspections and the great national stress on safety production may further reduce the number of suppliers. Thirdly, if regulation is tightened in Haifang, etc., a demand gap will appear in the overseas market, which will push up the prices on antimony market.

    Asian Metal: The market competition is much fierce both at home and abroad. What strategy does your company adopt to promote transactions and win customers?

    Mr. Wang: Our core strategy is to develop the high-end brands and win customers with high quality. Firstly, our product quality is advantageous with all indicators meeting customer needs and some even superior to customer needs; secondly, we have our own smelters with stable output to satisfy consumer demands and our brand "Huachang" has also been widely recognized by customers at home and abroad after decades of years' development in this industry.

    Asian Metal: What are the product advantages of your company? Do you have any plans for the added value for process and products?

    Mr. Wang: Our products are advantageous in quality and variety with antimony trioxide types of ordinary, environmental, catalytic, superfine, etc. Our newly-developed antimony product of environmental flame retardant antimony trioxide has been highly accepted by consumers due to its superb efficiency, which is also granted the certificate of "Hunan High-tech Products and High-tech Enterprise Certification".
    As for the added value for products, the recovery rate of antimony products is up to 97%, or even as high as 99%, which is possible to increase further. Therefore, we believe that the development trend for future production is doomed to fine processing.

    Asian Metal: What are your measures for "green development"?

    Mr. Wang: We think that "green development" is the market trend. If a country is more developed, it will attach more importance to "green development", such as our neighbor country Japan. Japan is stricter in environmental protection and they remove plants to other developing countries due to substandard plants in local market and cost pressure. Currently, China is also aware of the importance of environment and thus the environmental protection is normalized. Our production of antimony trioxide mainly relates to environmental problems and we have realized the importance of "green development" long time ago. Since the year of 2000, our workshop has been fully automated with efficient circulation and the discharge of waste water, waste gas and waste residue has been reduced to a minimum. At present, our annual average hazardous waste is about 6.5 tons, in which the arsenic and lead is at very low level; we also actively respond to the policy of coal to gas and now the production has been totally dependent on natural gas.

    Asian Metal: What is your direction for future development?

    Mr. Wang: We will maintain the current market share and meanwhile make more efforts on fine processing. Amid the fierce market competition, our priority is to maintain a reasonable market share and we will stick on the principle of benefiting consumers instead of blindly pursuing high profits; in addition, future targets also include further improving the product quality and trending to the direction of fine processing, production of masterbatches, nanoscale antimony trioxide, which will still need some time to be achieved.

    Asian Metal: Thank you very much for accepting our interview and wish your business thriving.

    Mr. Wang: Thank you!
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