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

6th World Antimony Forum

April 23-24, 2018
Zhangjiajie, China

6th International Refractories & Abrasives Summit

April 19-20, 2018
Beijing, China

Interview with He Zhongyi, Board Chairman of Changsha Asian Light Economic Trade Co. Ltd

Changsha Asian Light Economic Trade Co. Ltd., established in 1999, is a privately owned company integrating Science, Industry and Commerce. It is engaged in domestic and foreign trade and has its own manufacturers Changsha Asian Light Metal and Chemicals Co.Ltd. and Liuyang Asian Light High-tech Material Co. Ltd. The company specializes in producing Indium, Vanadium, Selenium, and Metal Powder Series. Asian Light is an outstanding company being famous for vanadium products, especially for high-purity vanadium pentoxide powder. Changsha Asian Light Economic Trade Co. Ltd. is involved in direct sales, and can also act as an agent for Import and Export of all kinds of commodities which are authorized by China's Governmental policies.
Chinese vanadium export market needs more time to recover
----Interview with He Zhongyi, Board Chairman of Changsha Asian Light Economic Trade Co. Ltd
Asian Metal: Good morning, Mr He. Firstly, would you please share us with your idea about current macro-economic situation?
Mr He: About the macro-economic situation, although the data shows that the economies in China and other main countries have started to improve, there seems to be no improvement from the perspective of vanadium field. The prices of vanadium products in Chinese market are still at low levels, and the export market is greatly restricted. On the one hand, vanadium products prices in foreign countries are lower than Chinese export offers, on the other hand, there remains no improvement in the demand from the end users, and this is the key reason for the deadlocked vanadium export market. So for the general economic situation, as the financial crisis usually lasts for 4-5 years, I don't think the market can improve significantly in the near future though the economies in main countries including South Korea, Japan, America and countries in Europe have become a little bit better since the third quarter this year.
Asian Metal: Asian Light is a well-known company being famous for vanadium pentoxide powder 99.50-99.99% and other vanadium products. As is known, vanadium pentoxide powder 99.50-99.99% is mainly exported, but is suffering from the financial crisis, the export business of the products becomes very sluggish. So, how about current export business of the products now?
Mr He: We mainly produce the products including vanadium pentoxide powder 98.50-99.99%, potassium metavanadate, sodium metavanadate and vanadium-nitrogen alloy, and the products are mainly supplied to consumers in the petroleum field and chemical field. We used to export vanadium products to Europe, America and many countries in Asia. However, suffering from the financial crisis, the export volume is greatly reduced and our export volume has decreased to only 1/3 compared with that in the same period of the years before the economic crisis. According to our customers, there is still no sign for the demand in foreign markets to improve.
Asian Metal: It is true that Chinese vanadium export market keeps so quiet that almost no new order of neither ferrovanadium nor vanadium pentoxide has been concluded in the past months this year except for the long-term contracts which were signed in last year.
Mr He: Right. As the export market keeps slow, the concluded prices decrease sharply. For us, we are lucky that we can continue with the export business of vanadium products under the pressure from the financial crisis. But most of our deals are in small volume and the prices are at low levels. Meanwhile, consumers in foreign countries want to buy the material at low prices. We even received some enquiries of vanadium pentoxide powder 99.50% with the low prices of about RMB70,000-80,000/t (USD4.67-5.26/lb) which we can not accept. While, the key reason to the quiet export market is only the low price, but, more critically, is the weak demand from the end users.
Asian Metal: Chinese export market has kept quiet for more than one year, and suppliers of many materials including vanadium pentoxide, ferrovanadium, ferrosilicon, ferrotitanium, etc have suspended their export businesses for quiet a long time. While, Mr. He, as is known, Hunan is a province which is rich in the resource of vanadium. How about your ideas about the vanadium market from the perspective of supply and demand?
Mr He: There are lots of vanadium products in Hunan, and so are the factories and producers who mainly produce ammonium metavanadate and vanadium pentoxide. As far as we know, many traders have vanadium pentoxide in stocks which they bought at low prices before and many producers have ammonium metavanadate, with the plan to process ammonium metavanadate into vanadium pentoxide flake or vanadium pentoxide powder flexibly according to the market. The resource of vanadium in China is rich, but caused by the financial crisis, many small-and-medium sized factories are difficult to survive. Many plants in Hunan have closed down, anyway.
Asian Metal: It is true that many plants have to reduce their outputs of vanadium production or even to close down.
Mr He: Yes. For the reasons that the plants have to suspend the production, I believe, on one hand, vanadium market remains so sluggish that few consumers continue purchasing the materials in large volume, and producers can not sell the material to make cash flow; on the other, these plants which have closed down fail to meet the standards of environmental protection. At present, "energy saving" and "emission reduction" are widely advocated in many fields. Vanadium products, in particular, are highly polluting products. While, as many manufacturers take great account for financial problems, the equipments are simple and are unqualified in environmental protection. Thus, the factories are forced to close.
Asian Metal: Mr He, how about your suggestions and comments on government policies from the perspective of the entire vanadium market conditions and the problems and challenges faced by domestic production enterprises?
Mr He: We expect there are some policies proposed by the government to support and save these small-and-medium sized manufactures. For instance, to take national acquisition measure to maintain the operation of the market which can both stimulate domestic demand and pull small-and-medium sized enterprises through the crisis. Besides, there are many small and medium producers of vanadium products in China, and if the government just filters out those unqualified manufactures rigidly and simply, many enterprises will close down. So, how about take some measures to merge or improve these plants in small and medium size to strength the entire strength of the vanadium production in China.
Asian Metal: In Chinese market, the prices of both vanadium pentoxide and ferrovanadium have been moving up recently. As is known, the prices of vanadium products usually fluctuate greatly and flexibly, especially when traders participate in the market to buy or sell the material. How about your ideas on the price trend of vanadium products and vanadium field in the future?
Mr He: The market of vanadium products is comparatively small and the prices are indeed vulnerable with the influence from speculation and psychological factor. In 1989, the price of vanadium pentoxide has reached as high as RMB190,000/t, while the price dropped to RMB30,000/t in November 1993, and the price in foreign countries also decreased to USD1.30/lb then. In October 1994, the price moved up again to USD1.70/lb. Suffering from the financial crisis, the price of the material decreased to the low price of RMB72,000/t in the third quarter this year. The highest price of ferrovanadium 50% was around RMB400,000/t, but now the mainstream prices are only around RMB100,000/t, with the large price gap of RMB300,000/t. It is true that vanadium products prices have kept moving up for more than two weeks with the markup of more than RMB10,000/t for both the prices of vanadium pentoxide and ferrovanadium 50% in domestic market. While, whether the market is active or not all decided by the demand from the end users. My suggestion is that participants should be cautious about the market, with taking more analysis from the perspective of the end users. As for vanadium market trend, I think as the financial crisis has not ended yet, the demand of ferrovanadium from steel mills and other users has not improved strong enough. Thus, I believe the market is likely to remain slow and stable in the following months and will starting recovering with the improvement of the general economy. Anyway, no field or industry acts independently. The trend of one field depends on many conditions and is related to many other sectors. We are looking forward to an early recovery of vanadium market.
Asian Metal: Thank you, Mr He. Asian Light is an outstanding company being famous for vanadium products, especially for high-purity vanadium pentoxide powder, and the quality of your products are well known and highly commented by consumers in both China and other countries. We believe there will be a more successful and prosperous future for Asian Light.
Mr He: Thank you. We wish Asian Metal continues to make progress as well.