For the Quarter Ending December 2022
The prices of Fluorspar increased at a slower pace in the US market in Q4. The intensified inflationary pressures have impacted the price realizations of Fluorspar among the manufacturers, and production costs have been impacted. Domestic inquiries from the refrigerant sector were average and primarily based on need-on-demand. Although there was a decrement in Natural Gas costs, it was high enough to curtail the profit margins of manufacturing firms. In November, the demand from the downstream industries improved, and overall sales stabilized. As per the data, the Purchasing Manager Index was observed to be above 50 points in the Mexican market. Towards the end of the fourth quarter, the manufacturing activities have also expanded. Prices of Fluorspar Ex-Mexico City were observed to be hovering around USD 435 per MT in December.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Fluorspar prices have remained on the uptrend. In the first half of Q1 of 2022, the supply of Fluorspar was relatively limited, according to market participants. The logistics and transportation in China's domestic market have been impacted by the stringent COVID-19 regulations. However, the inflows of new orders from the downstream Hydrofluoric Acid and refrigerant market were sufficient to cause a rise in manufacturer's quotations. Furthermore, the market value of Fluorspar escalated in November, as some mining enterprises have also stopped mining amid the winter seasons. Towards the end of Q4, the downstream market stabilized, and Fluorspar Ex Shanghai prices were settled at USD 450 per MT.
In South Africa, the prices of Fluorspar have demonstrated mixed sentiments in the fourth quarter of 2022. The market participants have reported that the domestic demand from the refrigerant industry was sufficient. However, sluggish inquiries from overseas markets, along with raging inflation and volatile economic situations, have weighed on Fluorspar's market sentiments among manufacturers. The inventory conditions were optimum in the domestic region, and the pressure on the supply side of Fluorspar has eased. In December, demand from the downstream steel and refrigerant market remained on the lower end. The downstream purchases were not sufficient to support the market rise of Fluorspar. The ChemAnalyst database has shown that Fluorspar Ex-Durban averaged USD 420 per MT at Q4-end.
For The Quarter Ending September 2022
In the third quarter of 2022, the price trend of Fluorspar has demonstrated an upward trajectory in the domestic region of Mexico. The hiked interest rates by US Federal reserves have led to inflation and input shortages, hindering the growth across the Mexican manufacturing sector. However, Fluorspar's escalated market values have curbed the downstream refrigerant sector's purchasing power. The port congestion at US Gulf Coast in mid-Q3 has further caused volatility in the price-value chain of Fluorspar and its derivatives. Furthermore, the manufacturers have raised their quotations for the terminal sector to protect their profit margins. In September, demand from downstream Anhydrous Hydrofluoric Acid improved and caused a substantial rise in Fluorspar offers. Therefore, Fluorspar Ex-Mexico prices were assembled at USD 420/MT in Q3-end.
Fluorspar prices have remained buoyant throughout the third quarter of 2022 in China. The stringent environment protection guidelines have hampered the supply-side operation rate at mining firms, inflicting the price realizations of Fluorspar to an uptrend in the domestic region. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported that the industrial output, including mining, manufacturing, and utility sectors, increased by 3.8% in July. In August, the declining values of Crude oil reduced the operating costs of Fluorspar. Additionally, the intense heat waves caused power shortages in Sichuan and Chongqing and disrupted Chinese trade. However, towards the end of the third quarter, the positive growth in the demand for downstream refrigerants and EV vehicles boosted the market dynamics of Fluorspar among the manufacturers. Prices of Fluorspar Ex Shanghai were settled at USD 402/MT in September.
In the domestic region of South Africa, Fluorspar prices have been on an uptrend. The ChemAnalyst database has shown that the price offers have escalated by 5.2% in Q3-end compared to the June prices. The strengthening downstream demand has pushed Fluorspar prices on a bullish run. The rate of input price inflation amid the volatile economic conditions has translated into a steep increase in output prices. Furthermore, the Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) dropped in September, and extensive power cuts weighed on production. The market players have reported that the new sales order declined amid the uplifted prices brought on by global economic challenges. As a ripple effect, Fluorspar Ex-Durban prices averaged USD 405/MT at the end of the third quarter.
The price trends of Fluorspar have demonstrated a downtrend in their market values throughout the second quarter. In Mexico, the decelerated economic growth and supply chain bottlenecks brought on by Russia's invasion of Ukraine have further supported the bearish market sentiments for Fluorspar in the regional market. In addition, the tight monetary policy imposed by the Federal Reserve to combat inflation has also remained a headwind for the Mexican economy. Furthermore, Mexico's downstream manufacturing sector for refrigerants has also slowed down, owing to plummeting demand for downstream Hydrofluoric Acid, provoking downward pressure on the price realizations of Fluorspar. As a ripple effect from Q1, observed costs, Fluorspar's price offers have decreased nearly 5% towards the end of the second quarter.
During the second quarter of 2022, the Fluorspar price offers demonstrated mixed market growth. In the first half of Q2, the Fluorspar market expanded owing to active inquiries from downstream Hydrofluoric Acid in China. The stringent lockdown restrictions in China have severely hampered trade activities. The halted production in the domestic region has exacerbated the supply-side concerns for domestic and international inquiries. The western players were hesitant to procure the Russian cargoes amidst the sanctions, and the players were eyeing the Asian suppliers, pressuring the supply outlook across the Asia-Pacific region against the ongoing peak season of the refrigerant industry. Thus, the curtailed availability and robust demand from the downstream market have pushed Fluorspar's price realizations to demonstrate a surge of nearly 4.5% in Q2.
The Fluorspar market has contracted in South Africa in the second quarter of 2022. The dampening effect of high inflation has substantially pressured the spot offers of Fluorspar in the domestic market. The Zero COVID policy in China has offset the production capacities of major enterprises, leading to reduced imports from South Africa. As a result of tumbling inquiries from the international market, the domestic manufacturers were compelled to reduce their quotations to maintain equilibrium between supply and demand. In addition, the sluggish demand from the downstream refrigerant sector has propelled the weak market sentiments for Fluorspar and undermined the market value among the traders. Furthermore, the prices of downstream anhydrous hydrofluoric acid demand have also declined, further pressuring the market outlook for Fluorspar. As a ripple effect, Fluorspar Ex Durban prices decreased by 4% at the end of the second quarter.