Asian Metal
CdTe: CdTe solar films can produce very high transaction ratio into photovoltaic power, however, currently its market ratio is much smaller than that of polycrystalline silicon. First Solar has been installing CdTe solar films in some projects, but due to the limited supply and higher cost, CdTe’s once bright future remains under debate. Nevertheless, current low figures for tellurium could prove to be a noteworthy opportunity to propel the market forward. Will policies still favor this new energy industry? And what achievements will China, India and other emerging markets make in the coming years? Can the tellurium market regain momentum with the development of solar industry?
Cobalt: In recent years, cobalt prices have experienced ups-and-downs and touched the bottom in 2008. The cobalt market has drawn cold, however, will the dawn come after the darkness? Nevertheless, commercial opportunities continue to hide in the present risk. So, how can we turn crisis into opportunity and seize business prospects at the current low point? When will the market warm up again?
Gallium: Gallium figures have been on a depreciating trend since the second half of 2011, and it is still unknown when the downward move should halt. Challenges and opportunities should coexist within the gallium market throughout the second half of the year. With significant prospects within the CIGS, LED and semiconductor sectors, which industry will lead and possibly dominate gallium demand? Can new technology R&D reverse the current dreary association between supply and demand?
Germanium: Chinese germanium metal values have increased sharply since May following the tight supply of raw materials. What is the attitude of downstream consumers, will prices be widely accepted?
Indium: After the surge and subsequent slump in 2011, indium figures have been comparatively low during H1, 2012. Chinese indium exports remain quite difficult as lower values continue to permeate the international market. Will the consumer electronics sector help China dictate indium prices? Will the adjustment with the Chinese Strategic Metal Reserve employ new opportunities to the indium market?
Lithium: Values increased steadily during the first half of 2012, and trumped the negative trend experienced throughout most other metal markets. In 2011 and again in 2012, both Rockwood Lithium and FMC, lithium industry magnates, announced increases in lithium salt prices during the next two years. Meanwhile, Talison, the largest global spodumene supplier, has continuously raised spodumene values, causing downstream players to follow lithium products more intently. Will the lithium market keep the uptrend in the long-term future?
Magnesium: 2012 is witnessing a reconstruction within the domestic magnesium sector as the depressed economy continues to plague business. Consequently, both output and supply have softened due to the diminishing requirement from downstream consumers. Additionally, with adjusting exchange rates, climbing freight costs, and customs strictly enforcing prices, Chinese suppliers anticipate a declining industry which had just recently ridden the market crest halfway. Numerous critical metal industries continue to meet the business challenges that have risen in the wake of a world economic shadow and, as a result, the magnesium market could follow and gradually steer back in track as providers gain expert supply control while benefiting from a downstream market that is geared for steadiness. Continual challenges are likely to arise and, thus, active magnesium insiders must regularly overcome commercial hardships. So, together let’s uncover new solutions through a comprehensive market review and an in-depth discussion regarding the coming future.
Manganese: Due to a boomed stainless steel industry in China, the domestic manganese market has expanded quite quickly over the last decade. Over-capacity and sluggish demand, however, has been torturing the manganese industry as a whole. Active participants are likely to experience stronger sanctions in the short-term after the government failed to stop the enlargement of this industry over the past few years. Should small-sized producers be eliminated? If the export duty is canceled to promote exports, would we see the market recover later this year?
Polysilicon: With so much international focus on the development and utilization of new energy, how can the Chinese solar energy sector develop more quickly and with greater health? As one of the primary raw materials for the solar industry, the Chinese polysilicon market faces significant challenges due to the abundant supply of imported polysilicon. How will the polysilicon enterprises deal with this current predicament?
The global PV industry enters the “era of meager profit” as the US imposes anti-dumping and anti-subsidies on Chinese solar products, while other countries are likely to follow. How will Chinese polysilicon enterprises fight back? If Chinese polysilicon companies initiate a trade war on the import of polysilicon, what should be expected?
Antimony: The antimony market has remained sluggish over the past year with figures continuously on a negative move. Have prices finally touched bottom? China started combating antimony smuggling in early February, 2012, as a result, should we anticipate better movement reliability in the near-future? It has speculated and reported that China will buy antimony to support the market deficit. If true, when should it commence? What volume should be expected? Will it truly stimulate the antimony market and improve movement?
Selenium: The low performance of the downstream manganese market has pressed selenium as prices have continuously plummeted this year. Less demand is due this year as glass, ceramics, pigments, while other consumption fields are not expected to offset the loss in demand from the manganese sector. Consequently, selenium values have reached a very low level. When will we see the bottom? What emerging markets may appear in the coming years, and what should downstream participants do to tackle these difficult times?
Silicon: The Chinese silicon metal market has kept weak since the second half of 2011. The current adjustment policy on Chinese silicon metal export tax remains unclear. Under the complicated and volatile environment at home and abroad, how can the domestic silicon metal industry solve the contradiction between the increasing capacity and decreasing demand? Will the output of the organosilicon keep rising? Additionally, will the consumption proportions for silicon metal within the organosilicon industry increase or not? With the global PV industry running sluggish and Chinese polysilicon downstream products under US anti-dumping tariffs, how can Chinese polysilicon plants rise from their plight? When could the overall silicon industry see improvements?
Tantalum&Niobium: In H1, 2012, both the Chinese tantalum and niobium markets experienced tight raw material supply and slow rebounding of downstream demand. Tantalum ore prices grew continuously, while end-product values were pressed by foreign consumers and, consequently, significantly increasing the complexity for domestic plants to survive the volatile trend. It is also worth noting, however, that the international tantalum powder market has kept active as demand for capacitor grade material remained strong throughout the first half of 2012. For domestic plants, it remain increasingly important to band together in order to seek coexistence and further development. Under the strict scrutiny of the EICC, will domestic plants enter the international market without further obstacles?
Tungsten: Tungsten product prices have continued to decrease in 2012, as a result, should we expect wolframite 65%min values to touch the RMB100,000/t (USD/mtu) mark soon? APT and tungsten carbide powder producers have halt production due to sluggish demand, as a result, could limited supply further increase prices in the near-term? When should a tungsten storage plan be implemented, and which sector will lead the way? Will it be able to support the market or will it falter?