ZIRCON SAND PRICE INCREASES ON THE BACK OF TIGHT SUPPLY
The price of premium grade zircon sand (66% ZrO2) has increased from $900/mt to $1200/mt during Q3 2010 due to tight supply. Demand from consumers has increased and there has been reduced output from most of the main suppliers during the 2nd half of 2010.
Iluka Resources, who supplies 38% of the global zircon, has seen reduced output from its ageing operations in Western Australia during 2010 and its new operations in Murray Basin and Eucla Basin are not yet ramped up to full capacity. Both Rio Tinto's Richard Bay operation and Exxaro's KZN operations in South Africa suffered strike action during August 2010 leading to reduced output. Supply of zircon sand from Indonesia is limited as well as reduced output from operations in Hainan, China due to contunuous rainstorms halting production in October 2010.
The tightness in supply is expected to last well into 2011 and prices are expected to continue to rise on the back of this. It will take increased production from the Iluka's new operations in Australia and some rival operations for this tightness to ease.
The knock-on effect has seen some sharp increases in downstream Zirconium Chemical prices such as Zirconium Oxychloride, Zirconium Basic Carbonate and Zirconium Oxide increasing by 20-30%.
China is the largest producer of Zirconium Chemicals in the world and many of the large producers are finding it difficult to buy enough zircon sand to meet their requirements. For Q4 2010 the price for Zircon sand is $1200/mt CIF China port if it is actually possible to get material. A number of producers expect to see the price increase to $1400/mt in Q1 2011 before stabilising.
Zircon Sand is the starting raw material for the production of the majority of Zirconium Chemicals and Zirconium Oxides including Zirconium Oxychloride, Zirconium Basic Sulphate, Zirconium Basic Carbonate, Zirconium Acetate, Zirconium Nitrate, Zirconium Oxide and Yttria Stabilised Zirconia. For futher information on Zirconium Chemicals and Zirconium Oxides please contact us on +44 (0)1440 709709; email firstname.lastname@example.org or simply click here.