[Ferro-Alloys.com]Solid demand in Japan and China likely to keep rally going
Spot prices for a tungsten precursor were up 7% in mid-December from the previous month as production has fallen in China, which accounts for 80% of global output.
TOKYO -- Tungsten prices have climbed in recent weeks amid a production slowdown in China, the world's top source of this rare element used to make highly durable materials.
The spot price of precursor material ammonium paratungstate, a market benchmark, hovered around $297.50 per 10kg in mid-December, up 7% from a month earlier.
The rally owes largely to a production slump in China, which accounts for 80% of global output. Sources of water used in processing tungsten ore have reportedly frozen over with winter approaching.
Prices also are benefiting from stronger Chinese demand for equipment made with super-hard materials such as tungsten alloys amid a wave of infrastructure construction. Demand remains brisk in Japan as well, where tungsten is used in cutting tools.
Market watchers see no factors likely to drag prices lower at present. Prices probably will hold steady around $300 per 10kg, said President Yoshikazu Watanabe of Tsukushi Shigen Consul, a Japanese natural resources consulting firm.
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- [Editor:Jiang Li Juan ]