Ferroalloys: China’s strong recovery continues to drive ferroalloys demand

Members of the Roskill steel alloys team, Nils Backeberg and Ramsey Yavuz, attended the virtual Fastmarkets International Ferroalloys 2020 conference between 9 and 11 November 2020. The conference provided mine-to-steel market analysis and outlook on chromium, manganese, vanadium, silicon, molybdenum and nickel, as well as expectations for future market growth… Read more

Macroeconomics: RCEP agreement creates trade tensions and partnerships

On 15 November, the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), along with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, signed a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (“RCEP”) agreement. Although India had previously pulled out, the agreement still establishes the world’s largest single trade block, covering 30%… Read more

Salt: K+S Group releases Q3 2020 financial data

Reported Q3 2020 revenues for K+S Group fell by around 9% to €821.7M (US$973.3M) from €904.9M (US$1,071.8M) in Q3 2019. In the ”EUROPE+” operating unit, this followed lower potash prices and a weaker US dollar compared to the Euro. In the AMERICAS operating unit, higher prices did not offset lower… Read more

Cobalt, lithium: Mercedes pushes for sustainable supply

To improve the sustainability of its battery manufacturing process, Mercedes recently announced a transition towards responsible sourcing initiatives (RSIs), aimed at its cobalt and lithium supply chains. The company, via its parent, Daimler Group, is seeking to adopt the “Standard for Responsible Mining” as the framework for its supply chain… Read more

Nickel, cobalt: Sumitomo sets date for Ambatovy revival

Sumitomo has announced that it intends to resume operations in February 2021 at its 54% owned Ambatovy nickel-cobalt operation in Madagascar. The mine was placed on care and maintenance in March due to a national lockdown, imposed to control the spread of COVID-19. The other stakeholder in the project is… Read more

Tungsten, molybdenum: Notes from the 10th annual MolyChina conference

Between 20 and 22 October, Roskill attended the MolyChina 10th Annual Tungsten & Molybdenum Conference in Chengdu, China. Over 400 people attended covering the entire tungsten and molybdenum supply chain, from upstream mining companies to downstream first use and end use markets. Below we provide some key take-aways from the… Read more

Nickel: Vale in new exclusive negotiations over VNC sale

Brazilian group Vale has announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with a consortium that includes trading company Trafigura, with a view to selling its Vale Nouvelle Calédonie (VNC) plant. The consortium will be 50% owned by New Caledonian interests including management and staff, as well as New Caledonian… Read more

Macroeconomics: COVID-19 second wave versus a vaccine

The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Q3 this year saw GDP in the major developed countries reclaim around 80% of the decline they reported in the first half of the year. Output was still 3-5% below pre-COVID-19 levels though, and the pace of recovery slowed significantly towards the end of… Read more

Lithium: Market positivity at CNIA Lithium Branch annual conference

Roskill recently attended the 2020 China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) Lithium Branch annual event at Suining in China’s Sichuan province, where overall market sentiment was positive following downstream recoveries since July. More than 200 attendees were present at the event from the supply chain and downstream, including battery makers… Read more

Lithium: CODELCO receives environmental ‘green light’ for Maricunga

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) for CODELCO’s Maricunga project was qualified by the Commission of Atacama Environmental Assessment on 5 November, following a commendation of approval by the Atacama Environmental Assessment Service in October. Qualification of the EIA allows CODELCO to undertake exploration at the project to determine the environmental… Read more