Salt: Tropical Storm Harvey shuts 37% of US chloralkali production

Roskill view: A third of US chemical production has been disrupted by Tropical Storm Harvey, boosting prices and threatening shortages for salt-derived industrial materials such as chlorine and caustic soda.   Producers such as Olin Corp., Occidental Chemical Corp. and Formosa have shut plants and cut back operations in recent… Read more

Graphite: Flake prices rise on new round of plant inspections

Roskill view: Plant closures in the Chinese province of Shandong have led to intermittent flake graphite production in Q3 2017. Those most at risk are producers of graphite with high carbon and larger flake size as well as downstream producers of +98% C purified grades, spherical graphite and expandable/expanded graphite,… Read more

Chrome: Tharisa signs supply deal with Tisco JV

Roskill view: Tharisa has signed a five-year supply agreement for a minimum of 240ktpy of chromite concentrate to Shanxi Taigang Wanbang Furnace Charge, a joint-venture company setup by Tisco. Tharisa operates a mine in South Africa which produces chrome ore and PGMs. The company is headquartered in Cyprus, though listed… Read more

Nickel: Prices escalate amidst growing demand and concerns

Roskill view: Prices of nickel breached US$11,000/t, from US$8,920/t as recently as early July. The strong spike in nickel prices is typical of the metal, which has seen frequent, radical price surges. Following the news earlier this month of the shutdown of the Ravensthorpe operation of First Quantum Minerals, price… Read more

Manganese: Woodie Woodie to restart?

Roskill view: Ningxia Tianyuan Manganese Industry (TMI) has announced plans for a US$30M restart of the Woodie Woodie mine. Woodie Woodie is an open-pit operation approximately 400km south-east of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, close to the vast iron ore mining operations of BHP Billiton and… Read more

Cobalt: Yantai Cash supply may be disrupted

Roskill view: Supply might be disrupted at Yantai Cash in August and September owing to environmental inspections in Shandong Province. Metal Bulletin reported that local governments have ordered industrial producers in the region to suspend production during this period. Yantai Cash was established in 2001 and started to hydrometallurgically process… Read more

Steel Alloys: H1 2017 trade in review for chromium

In H1 2016, chrome prices were at six-year lows but in H2 2016 there was a dramatic recovery. By Q3, chrome ore prices had recovered to their highest levels since the global economic downturn. This was mostly driven by Chinese demand for South African ore for ferrochrome production, which improved… Read more

Steel Alloys: H1 2017 trade in review for vanadium

Throughout 2016, ferrovanadium prices recovered having started the year at their lowest levels since 2003. In H1 2017, steady price recovery continued with prices averaging US$25/kg in Q1 and increasing to US$27/kg in Q2.  It had looked like modest increases were set to continue into Q3, with July prices averaging… Read more