Archive for March, 2014

Carbide Dies

Carbide Dies

Tungsten demand is sensitive to the economic conditions of the world due to its heavy end use applications in machinery and steel. Over the past year, tungsten prices have reflected a Chinese economy that is slowing. In 2012, tungsten is estimated to have contracted. The rapid increase of price in 2011 cause many consumers to build inventories of tungsten. APT prices averaged $318/mtu in December 2012, according to Metal Pages, which is the lowest level since December 2010. CPM Group expects tungsten demand to continue to grow supported by China’s economic conditions, although at a slower pace than previous years.
Approximately eighty-five percent of tungsten produced globally is produced in China. As part of China’s long-term plans for economic development, mining policies have been introduced over the years. Although the Chinese government has attempted to make the market more transparent, the market remains obscure. A shift in Chinese tariff or export policies could restructure the market in the future.
Both Chinese and non-Chinese producers are expected to come on-stream in the next few years creating a healthy outlook to the tungsten market. Projects in Vietnam, South Korea and Britain will create additional supply and could keep a cap on the tungsten prices. Tungsten’s unique physical properties and lack of worthwhile substitutes should help support demand, as well as prices, despite the growth in supply.