Vanadium demand firms on anti-earthquake move

23 Aug 2017

The rising vanadium price is tipped to increase as China is poised to introduce new rebar standards with an increased vanadium content to improve earthquake resistance.

Vanadium is mainly used to harden steel and the new rebar standards could increase vanadium consumption 30%, or 10,000 tonnes per annum, VTB Capital’s Dmitry Glushakov said this week, citing China Iron and Steel Research Institute.

“The new standard is dedicated to increase earthquake resistance of rebar used in construction, while the new standard might be officially released in September,” Glushakov said.

He said this could add “further positive momentum” to the vanadium price outlook with China’s vanadium production impacted by a government environmental crackdown.

Vanadium prices have hit multi-year highs in recent weeks in anticipation of the crackdown and possible mine closures, prompting strong investor interest in vanadium-exposed equities.

Glushakov noted about 90% of vanadium was consumed by rebar producers and said the news was positive for integrated steel, mining and vanadium company Evraz (LN:EVR), which sells about 20,000t of ferro-vanadium products a year.