For the Quarter Ending March 2023
A weak to stable trend in the price of Zirconium silicate was seen in the North American market throughout the first quarter of 2023 as a result of the construction and cement sectors' sluggish demand. The product's cost was constrained by the nation's broad availability and the modest demand from downstream industries. The primary reasons why the demand for the construction industry was muted were high-interest rates and inflation. Additionally, the overall trend in freight costs continued to fall, assisting the Zirconium Silicate industry in the overseas marketplace. The cost of other construction materials, such as cement and concrete, increased in the USA market, which eventually limited the procurement operations of Zirconium Silicate.
The Zirconium Silicate market saw a stable with a slightly upward price trend in the Asian market during the first quarter of 2023. China has accelerated infrastructure investment in the first quarter of this year to propel economic growth and drive up the activity of many associated downstream enterprises and broad market demand for basic materials, including Zirconium Silicate. China opened the market after the Lunar holidays, and the market got improved and received more orders from the overseas market, further supporting the price trend. The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for China hit a record high of 57 points in March, and the manufacturing sector index saw a strong gain over the previous 12 months. On the other hand, attitudes among service providers and in the construction sector rose to a 12-year high.
The first quarter of 2023 saw a declining trend in the price of Zirconium silicate commodities in Europe due to a lack of demand around the overseas market. High-interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical concerns all contributed to a fall in product demand. The price of the associated commodities has increased, and the trade activities of Zirconium silicate have decreased due to inflation rates. Demand dynamics persisted in their lackluster state and intended a downward trend in pricing for the entire quarter. The cost of Zirconium Silicate hovered around USD 2713/MT on an FD Hamburg basis at the end of the quarter.
For the Quarter Ending December 2022
The fourth quarter of 2022 saw a slight movement in the Zirconium Silicate market due to declining demand from downstream sectors and declining production costs globally. The central bank's action helped to reduce the significant inflationary pressure that had been affecting the USA. However, the FED's high-interest rate, which ultimately caused a decline in the nation's economic activity, was the cause of this relaxation in inflationary pressure. As a result, there was less demand for the product from the construction sector in the USA, contributing to the price drop.
The price of Zirconium Silicate decreased in the Asian market this month due to the slowdown in economic activity brought on by the global pandemic and recessionary fear that pervaded the entire globe. According to the data, the price of Chinese Zirconium silicate decreased by about 5.7% during this quarter and was almost USD 2460/MT (FOB) in China in December 2022. Major importing nations also benefited from this drop as dealers there were able to purchase cheaper cargoes from the global vendor. The festive season in October and November increased demand from the domestic market, which helped the Indian market do better than other economies.
The effects of the Russo-Ukrainian War continued to plague Europe, making it difficult for the economy to recover quickly. According to the data, decreased demand for Zirconium Silicate in the construction industries affected the market's pricing trend for the commodity. Natural gas price reductions also prevented upstream commodity prices from rising and helped companies' margins. Nevertheless, natural gas prices remained high despite market easing, placing pressure on producer margins. The price of Zirconium Silicate was assessed at USD 2900/MT in December 2022 in Germany.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
The North American Zirconium Silicate market witnessed a downward price trajectory during Q3 2022, supported by low demand from the downstream industries amidst adequate inventories. As per the data, in order to cool down inflation, Fed raised the interest rate, eventually leading to a slowdown in the economic activities of the country. Thus, post these frequent revisions in rates, a significant slowdown in economic activities was observed, which also includes dullness in the construction sector. Furthermore, rising natural gas prices also remained a matter of concern for the key players, as it was affecting the costs of production and eventually pressuring their profit margins.
In Asia, Zirconium Silicate prices heard tumbling throughout the quarter owing to stockpiled inventories and low demand from the regional market. Despite the fact that India was getting ready for its annual festivities, demand fundamentals from the construction sector remained low, and statistics show that economic output for the Indian market remained unexpectedly low during these three months. On the other side, pandemic-related disturbances have been affecting the Chinese market for a long time, and the construction sector was among the most affected sector. Thus, the Zirconium Silicate price declined in China and hovered around USD 2810/MT during September 2022.
Wavering offtakes have made a negative impact on Zirconium Silicate prices in the European market during Q3 2022. As per the data, Zirconium Silicate prices kept on tumbling throughout the quarter on the back of low demand fundamentals from the downstream construction sector amidst ample product availability in the country. Furthermore, under the influence of low demand and stable production rates, convertors in Poland were offering their cargoes at discounts in order to sustain offtakes. Thus, post witnessing a consistent decline for three months, Zirconium Silicate prices were heard hovering around USD 3230/MT in Germany during September.