Tungsten prices are at highs not seen for some time. This short update will help you to understand the fundamental reasons behind these high prices and give you an insight into the near to medium term outlook for the tungsten market.

The insights provided in this 10 minute video are taken from the new edition of Argus Tungsten Analytics service, presented by Mark Seddon, Principal Consultant.

The video update explores:

• Tungsten prices are at 6-year highs, principally affected by near-term supply issues in China
• Demand for tungsten is generally muted, especially in Europe, but the defence sector is driving demand given the current geo-political issues in eastern Europe and the Middle East
• The medium-term supply picture is likely to be boosted by new projects coming on-stream in 2H 2024 and 2025

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18/07/24

India’s MRAI urges zero import duty on Al scrap

India’s MRAI urges zero import duty on Al scrap

Mumbai, 18 July (Argus) — The Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) has urged the government to remove import duties on aluminium scrap in its budget to be presented on 23 July. "Among the key challenges faced by the Indian aluminium recycling industry is paying [a] 2.5pc import duty on aluminium scrap," MRAI said in a letter to India's finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. "It is a key raw material for aluminium recycling and the government should make it zero until the quality material is available in sufficient quantity in the domestic market." The government has a duty to create a level playing field between primary and secondary aluminium producers, said MRAI president Sanjay Mehta. "If customs duties are applicable on import of scrap, then commensurate export duties on the basis of total cost to country on primary products should also be levied." India does not have sufficient supplies of good quality metal scrap to support its recycling industry and relies heavily on imports. The current import duty system, coupled with the lack of aluminium scrap in India, reduce Indian producers' competitiveness in global markets because most other countries have no import duty on metal scrap. This could decelerate the country's effort to achieve its sustainability goals, added MRAI senior vice-president Dhawal Shah and the managing director of CMR Green Technologies Mohan Agarwal. India imported 1.83mn t of aluminium scrap in 2023 with more than a quarter coming from the US. Europe, the Middle East and north Africa are its other key suppliers. By Deepika Singh Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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China's Sunwoda plans $275mn battery plant in Vietnam


18/07/24
News
18/07/24

China's Sunwoda plans $275mn battery plant in Vietnam

Singapore, 18 July (Argus) — Major Chinese lithium-ion battery manufacturer Sunwoda plans to build a 2bn yuan ($275mn) battery plant in northern Vietnam's Bac Giang province. The site is expected to produce consumer battery cells, system-in-package and batteries, said Sunwoda. Capacity was undisclosed but the site is expected to generate around $1bn/yr of revenue, according to an official portal by Bac Giang Provincial People's committee. Northern Vietnam houses sites of multiple major technology and semiconductor firms including Apple, Foxconn and Samsung, but unannounced or short-notice power cuts have affected production bases in the region. Power outages in Northern Vietnam during May-June 2023 disrupted production and were estimated to have shaved 0.3pc off the country's GDP, according to a 2023 report by World Bank. But the province has "overcome the power supply difficulties", said the current chairman of the Bac Giang Provincial People's committee chair Le Anh Duong. The power supply lines and stations for manufacturing plants in the province have been strengthened, Duong said, adding that the province is looking at upgrading its electricity transmission system and prioritising the allocation of electricity output to key manufacturing companies. Sunwoda will be on its power supply priority list if Sunwoda goes ahead with the investment, said Duong. Rising market barrier pressure and overseas demand prompted major Chinese battery firms to expand overseas in an attempt to deal with geopolitical curbs. Disclosed overseas investment from China's lithium-ion battery sector totalled Yn565bn as of June, according to Chinese research institution EV Tank earlier this month. By Joseph Ho Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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BHP posts higher nickel output after disruptions


17/07/24
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17/07/24

BHP posts higher nickel output after disruptions

Singapore, 17 July (Argus) — Australian resources group BHP lifted its nickel production during April-June as it recovered from planned maintenance and wet weather disruptions in the previous quarter. BHP's refined nickel production for April-June rose by 22pc against the previous quarter and by 4.5pc from a year earlier to 23,000t. The increased output was a result of a low base in the previous quarter with planned maintenance at the Kwinana refinery in Western Australia (WA) and poor weather conditions in March, the firm said. Total refined nickel output for the 2023-24 fiscal ending 30 June was 81,600t, up by 2pc from the same period last year. BHP on 11 July announced that it will temporarily suspend operations at its WA nickel businesses from October, on the back of nickel oversupply and an anticipated nickel price downtrend. BHP has also decided to halt operations at its Kambalda concentrator earlier in February, placing it into a care and maintenance phase from June. Mining and processing operations at the Kwinana refinery, Kalgoorlie smelter and Mount Keith and Leinster mines will be suspended, while development of the West Musgrave project will be put on hold. BHP will implement a care and maintenance programme to ensure the safety and integrity of its mines and infrastructure. It will invest around $300mn/yr following the transition period to support a potential restart of the facility. The transition period will start from July, with operations to be halted in October and completely stopped by December. BHP intends to review the closure by February 2027. BHP expects to record negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of around $300mn for 2023-24 and sustain a further $300mn pre-tax non-cash impairment charge following the temporary suspension decision. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Vietnam’s Vinfast cuts EV sales goal, delays US plant


15/07/24
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15/07/24

Vietnam’s Vinfast cuts EV sales goal, delays US plant

Singapore, 15 July (Argus) — Vietnam-based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Vinfast Auto has lowered its 2024 EV delivery goal and delayed its North Carolina EV plant's first production by three years, because of economic headwinds. "We have adopted a more prudent outlook that is carefully calibrated to near-term headwinds, taking into full consideration the realities of market volatility and potential challenges," said the chairwoman of Vinfast's board of directors Le Thi Thu Thuy on 12 June. Vinfast now expects to deliver 80,000 EVs in 2024, down from the 100,000 units it set earlier this year and having missed its delivery goal of 40,000-50,000 last year. Vinfast delivered 21,747 EVs in January-June, almost doubling on the year, according to the company. Its EV sales over April-June stood at 12,058 units, up by 24pc on the quarter and 26pc on the year. It started building a $2bn EV factory in US North Carolina's Chatham county last year, with output scheduled to begin in 2025 . But the firm has now made the "strategic decision" to push it back to 2028, Vinfast said. VinFast earlier this year said that it would invest $2bn in south India's Tamil Nadu state to develop its EV sector, including building an EV plant that can produce 150,000 units/yr. The plant will be "opened" in the first half of 2025, said Vingroup's chairman Pham Nhat Vuong last month, adding that India will be Vinfast's biggest Asia market. The global battery and EV sectors have been facing various economic and geopolitical headwinds. This includes persistently elevated interest rates that are curbing consumer spending, and rising geopolitical market barriers starting with the US and EU's tariffs on Chinese EVs, as well as Canada looking into potential punitive duties on Chinese EVs. By Joseph Ho Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Germany's Aurubis copper smelter back from maintenance


12/07/24
News
12/07/24

Germany's Aurubis copper smelter back from maintenance

London, 12 July (Argus) — Germany's Aurubis today announced that its Hamburg copper smelter returned to service on 11 July from the largest maintenance shutdown in the company's history that began 7 May. A restart is now under way following the €95mn 60-day maintenance that included an overhaul of the flash smelter, installation of heat exchangers in the contact acid plant, as well as the installation of a tap hold drill and tamping machine for improved safety of copper slag tapping. Hydrogen-ready anode furnaces were also installed as measures to improve sustainability. Investments in automation are set to improve efficiency and extend the frequency of planned maintenance rounds to three years from two. The Hamburg smelter's outage has exacerbated sulphuric acid tightness in Europe , and the operational restart is expected to provide some relief to the market. This comes in addition to the lack of availability of molten sulphur in the region, leading to shortages of sulphur burnt acid , which has prompted some consumers to replace burnt acid with smelter acid, lifting demand. Aurubis produced 1.19mn t of sulphuric acid during the first six months of the 2023-24 financial year (October-March), up by 1pc on the same period a year earlier. Output at Aurubis' Hamburg smelter rose by 11pc to 512,000t in the period, while output from the Pirdop smelter saw a 6pc decline on the period to 679,000t . For the first three months of the year, Aurubis produced 598,000t of acid, unchanged from the same quarter of 2022-23, as increased output at its Hamburg smelter offset a decline from Bulgaria's Pirdop plant. Production at Hamburg totalled 258,000t from January-March. By Maria Mosquera Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.