Beijing, 13 May (Argus) —
China’s antimony concentrate production fell sharply during January-March from a year earlier because of production cuts and weaker demand caused by the global spread of Covid-19.
Domestic concentrate output fell by 37pc to 11,100t of metal content during the first three months of 2020 from 17,700t in the year-earlier period, data from the China nonferrous metals industry association show.
Production in March fell to 5,800t, down from 8,000t during the same month last year. Output in April is forecast to drop further following production halts at two mines operated by state-owned Hsikwangshan Twinkling Star, China’s largest antimony producer, during the month.
Combined production of antimony products fell by around 10.2pc to 44,100t of physical weight in the first quarter of this year, down from 49,100t during the same period last year. And March output of antimony products fell to 18,900t from 19,700t a year earlier.
Prices for 99.65pc grade metal have been assessed unchanged at 35,000-36,000 yuan/t ($4,935-5,076/t) since 15 April, with sellers reluctant to make price concessions because of tighter profit margins. Weaker international demand as a result of the coronavirus outbreak continues to weigh on the antimony market, preventing prices from rising in the near term.