Indium stocks from the failed Fanya Metal Exchange, which were seized by police in June 2016, were due to be put up for auction this week on Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao. The decision to sell stockpiles of indium was made by Kunming Intermediate People’s Court in mid-December, Reuters reported.
While it operated, Fanya, based in Kunming, Yunnan province, traded in twelve minor and precious metals including indium, tungsten, antimony, gallium and germanium. The latest inventory on Fanya’s website, before it was shut down in November 2015, showed stocks of some of these metals were particularly high compared to their global annual production.
Indeed, Fanya’s indium stocks of 3,629t are thought to represent around three times the volume of refined and secondary indium production in 2017. With indium prices trading at historical lows of around US$218/kg according to Shanghai Metal Exchange Market, the sell-off is likely to further depress prices, an outcome that has worried market participants since Fanya stocks were seized.
Other industry members will be watching the indium auction closely. Fanya’s tungsten stocks, for example, are equivalent to just over 30% of China’s production of APT in 2018, according to the latest analysis from Roskill’s forthcoming Tungsten Market Outlook report. Should a similar auction follow for APT stocks, this could potentially bring prices back down to lows seen during 2016 when large producer inventories were overhanging the market.
Roskill will be publishing new reports on the tungsten and gallium markets in 2019. To discuss these with Roskill, contact Jessica Roberts (tungsten) firstname.lastname@example.org and Alexandra Feytis (gallium) email@example.com