12th Rare Earth Summit

May 27-28, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

11th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 20-21, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

9th Magnesium Summit

April 15-16, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

13th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 25-26, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

7th World Antimony Forum

June 13-14, 2019
Changsha, Hunan, China

7th Refractory & Abrasive Materials Summit 2019

May 23-24, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

10th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 16-17, 2019
Zhengzhou, Henan, China

11th Rare Earth Summit

May 9-10, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

8th Magnesium Summit

April 11-12, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

12th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

6th World Manganese & Selenium Forum

May 21-22, 2018
Hainan Sanya, China

Interview with Shi Zhengjun, Chairman of Aohan Huatai Metal Industry Co. Ltd

Aohan Huatai Metal Industry Co. Ltd., formerly known as Liaoning Huatai Metal Industry Co. Ltd, has produced 3 award-winning products including titanium series, zirconium series and high temperature alloy series. Operating on strict principle integrity, scientific management, and bold innovation. The company's goal is to become a leader in China's non-ferrous metal sector, and an influential modern enterprise in the world non-ferrous metal industry.
Shi Zhengjun: Chinese zirconium sponge market review in Q1 and the outlook for the market in Q2 2011
----Interview with Shi Zhengjun, Chairman of Aohan Huatai Metal Industry Co. Ltd
Asian Metal: Thanks for accepting our interview. What is your take on the state of the current macroeconomic trend in China?
Mr. Shi: Chinese economy continues growing at stable pace within the broader spectrum of the global economic recovery, and we have high confidence in the ability of relevant regulatory authorities to develop policies and fine-tune current ones to meet global but unexpected exogenous shocks.
Asian Metal: What is your assessment of the zirconium sponge market from January to April and your expectation by end of second quarter in 2011?
Mr. Shi: Zirconium sponge price has kept in an upward trend supported by the firm price of raw materials, such as fused zirconia. Its mainstream prices increased from RMB140/kg(USD21/kg) to RMB250/kg(USD38/kg) within only four month, and it is likely to go up further in the coming months.
Currently, zirconium sponge demand is not very strong. There are only some deals made at small volume, and there are few large deals made.
And with regards to the second quarter, we need to take cognizance of few issues here. I think zirconium sponge market in the second quarter has been slightly more active than the first quarter. First, since Chinese zirconium suppliers slowed down the production recently, the total stock is keep decreasing, so prices will be easier for consumers to accept. Second, more buyers will tend to buy the material after watching the market for a long period of time.
Asian Metal: What field does zirconium sponge mainly used in, and what has been the attitude of most consumers to higher quotations?
Mr. Shi: Zirconium sponge is mainly used in chemical industry, such as the production of acetic acid facilities. Other areas such as steel-making and additive in alloy also consume a little of the material.
As to the price, it’s been difficult to convince consumers to accept high price in the past few months since it’s assumed to have gone up rather too fast. However, as zircon sand demand will keep firm supported by the ceramics plants, chemical industry and refractory plants in the future, I think consumers will gradually recognize it and start to buy.
Asian Metal: Zirconium sponge (Zr(Hf)O2 99.4%) price is now at the historical high level. Do you have some methods to reduce the cost during the production?
Mr. Shi: Currently quality of Chinese zirconium sponge was almost the same in Chinese market. One important method to reduce the production cost is to strengthen enterprise management on cutting waste and improving recovery. Another method is to upgrade the operations to meet higher standard and reduce the cost.
Asian Metal: What do you think is the core competence of Chinese zirconium sponge producers?
Mr. Shi: The core competence is the producing technology we are using. If all producers are using the same set of equipment, there would be no core competence only by better management.
Asian Metal: What is the most challenging issue to Chinese zirconium sponge producers now?
Mr. Shi: Challenges mainly come from the unstable market and demand. As the zirconium sponge’s application field is quite narrow, its demand is usually influenced greatly by related programs. Once a program starts, demand for zirconium sponge would turn quite strong, while it turns quiet quickly after that. The uncertain condition would block us from investing capitals to upgrade technology.
Asian Metal: And your preparedness to meet the challenges?
Mr. Shi: On the one hand, we would strengthen our professional team to improve our creativity. On the other hand, we would increase stocks to meet the demand and avoid abnormal competition.
Asian Metal: How is the demand from overseas zirconium sponge buyers? What’s the export policy for the material?
Mr. Shi: Demand from foreign buyer kept slow based on the high price of Chinese zirconium sponge. There is no incentive in exporting the material. Since the export volume for zirconium sponge is quite small, the export policy has little effects on the market now.
Asian Metal: What’s our company’s goal in the long-term?
Mr. Shi: We would invest more capital in order to be able to improve on our production technology to enhance our competitiveness and lower the cost. Besides, we are currently carrying out some experimental study on the separation of zirconium and hafnium. We aim to enlarge our production capacity to 1,000tpy within the next 3-5 years, and reaching the medium level in domestic zirconium sponge field.
Asian Metal: Thanks for granting this interview.
Mr. Shi: My pleasure.