Tungsten is a strategic mineral with many commercial, industrial and military applications.
- Annual global production is around 90,000t WO3 . China currently supplies ~80% of global tungsten concentrate and intermediate products (e.g. APT) and consumes ~55%
- Tungsten (APT) pricing increased to over US$320/mtu in early 2018 and has since found steady price support between US$230/mtu and US$280/mtu
- The European price is led by the Chinese price which has been affected by China’s desire to reduce concentrate exports and grow its downstream processing industry
- Market fundamentals have changed after increase in demand from defence, industrial, and oil and gas applications (↑5% YoY) as environmental policies in China have curbed supply and added cost pressures for producers (Roskill, 2019)
- Non-Chinese supply is limited and security of supply strategically important to developed and developing economies. Several juniors have now signed offtake agreements with European end users
- China has stated its intention to stop exporting tungsten concentrate so non-Chinese supply would in this case need to triple in order to supply the existing non-Chinese consumers