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Silicon Calcium and Metal Calcium Price Analysis

January Multi-element Monthly Review: Silicon Calcium Decline Slows, Metal Calcium Maintains Stability

Since the beginning of this month, downstream stocking demand has been released, leading to a stabilization of the trend in silicon calcium alloys. Meanwhile, the silicon barium market, with fewer manufacturers and a low barium supply unable to meet demand, remains in a tight balance, supporting relatively robust prices. As demand is gradually released, the metal calcium market tends to stabilize, but actual high-price transactions are limited.

I. Silicon Calcium

calcium-silicon-alloy

Silicon calcium alloy is a binary alloy composed of silicon and calcium, falling under the category of ferroalloys. Its main components are silicon and calcium, with varying amounts of impurities such as iron, aluminum, carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus.

Calcium and silicon have strong affinities for oxygen, particularly calcium, which exhibits strong affinities for sulfur and nitrogen as well. Therefore, silicon calcium alloy serves as an ideal composite deoxidizer and desulfurizer. Silicon alloys not only possess strong deoxidation capabilities, facilitating the easy removal of deoxidation products, but also improve the properties of steel, enhancing its plasticity, impact toughness, and fluidity. Currently, silicon calcium alloy can replace aluminum for final deoxidation and is applied in the production of high-quality steel, special steel, and special alloys, including rail steel, low-carbon steel, stainless steel, nickel-based alloys, titanium-based alloys, among others.

Factors Influencing Silicon Calcium Prices:

The price of silicon calcium alloy is influenced by various factors. The supply-demand relationship of raw materials plays a decisive role. If there is a shortage of raw material supply, prices may rise, whereas sufficient supply tends to stabilize prices. Additionally, changes in market demand can impact prices. An increase in demand from related industries may lead to higher prices, while decreased demand could result in price declines. Furthermore, government policies, production costs, and market fluctuations can also affect silicon calcium alloy prices.

January Domestic Market Trends: As shown in the above graph, mainstream transaction prices in the Shaanxi market for national standard CA1 range from 11,100 to 11,200 CNY/ton. In Ningxia, the market transaction price is 11,100 to 11,200 CNY/ton, and in Inner Mongolia, it is 11,100 to 11,200 CNY/ton. For national standard CA2, the transaction prices are 11,000 to 11,100 CNY/ton in Shaanxi, 11,000 to 11,100 CNY/ton in Ningxia, and 11,000 to 11,100 CNY/ton in Inner Mongolia. In Henan, CA28Si55 is transacted at 10,100 to 10,300 CNY/ton, and CA28Si50 is transacted at 9,500 to 9,600 CNY/ton (including tax and cash).

January Silicon Calcium Export Market Prices: According to the export market transaction report data for this month, the current export transaction prices for national standard CA1 are 1,550 to 1,600 USD/ton, and for national standard CA2, it is 1,530 to 1,580 USD/ton (FOB price, Tianjin port). The export prices of silicon calcium have remained stable this month.

Startup Statistics: According to statistics from five national standard silicon calcium alloy production enterprises, in January 2024, there were a total of 5 enterprises producing silicon calcium, with a total of 6 furnaces in operation. The overall operating rate of enterprises is about 100%, and the furnace operating rate is about 66.67%. The total market output in January is expected to be around 7,400 tons, an increase of 920 tons compared to the actual output in December (6,480 tons). The silicon calcium sampling base has changed in 2024, so the month-on-month operating rate is not currently being compared.

Future Outlook for Silicon Calcium: Since the beginning of this month, the price of silicon calcium still shows a weak downward trend, but the mainstream quotations and transaction prices for national standard CA1 have remained stable at around 11,000. With the gradual release of steel plant stocking demand this month, coupled with the small difference between market selling prices and costs, silicon calcium manufacturers have a strong stabilization mentality, and the supply of low-priced goods in the market has decreased. However, the terminal’s stocking of silicon calcium products is not as expected, and the current spot inventory of silicon calcium is still difficult to consume. In addition, silicon calcium manufacturers have indicated that they will maintain normal production during the Spring Festival. Therefore, it is expected that inventory pressure in the post-holiday market will increase again, and silicon calcium still has the possibility of downward movement. However, considering cost factors, the decline is not expected to be significant.

II. Metal Calcium

Calcium-Metal

Metal calcium, as a highly reactive metal, is a powerful reducing agent. In industrial applications, metal calcium can be used as a deoxidizer for alloys and a dehydrating agent for oils. Its compounds can also serve as construction materials.

In the steel industry, the primary use of metal calcium is to process it into metal calcium granules, which are then made into calcium iron wire or pure calcium wire for use in external refining of steel. Its role is desulfurization, deoxidation, increasing the fluidity of molten steel, and promoting the rapid flotation of inclusions in molten steel, typically used in the production of high-quality steel.

Metal calcium is also used as a dehydrating agent in the manufacture of anhydrous alcohols. In the petroleum industry, it is used as a desulfurizing agent, and in the metallurgical industry, it is used for deoxygenation or desulfurization.

January Domestic Market Trends:

As shown in the graph above, the mainstream quotation for metal coarse calcium (Ca≥96%) in Shanxi is 18,500 to 19,000 CNY/ton; in Henan, the mainstream quotation for metal calcium wire (Ca≥97%, Φ6.5-8.5mm, ton/bundle/iron barrel) is 22,000 to 22,500 CNY/ton; and the mainstream quotation for metal calcium granules (Ca≥96%, 0-3mm, new barrel) is 21,500 to 22,000 CNY/ton (factory including tax and cash).

Future Outlook for Metal Calcium: Since the beginning of this month, the trend of metal calcium has been strong and then stable. At the beginning of the month, with the release of steel recruitment orders and the tight supply of original calcium plants in Shanxi due to environmental protection, prices continued the upward trend since December. However, as the month progressed, downstream stocking gradually ended, purchasers left the market, and metal calcium products faced a dilemma. Stabilizing prices became the main focus. It is reported that original calcium plants will maintain normal production during the Spring Festival. After the holiday, considering storage issues and the slow recovery of demand, metal calcium may face the possibility of offering concessions.

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