Tungsten

  • What is Tungsten used for?

    • Metal cutting tools
    • Drill bits
    • Light bulb filaments
    • High temperature alloys
    • Military use
    • Chemical applications

    Tungsten has a density greater than that of lead and uranium and is similar to that of gold.  Its hardness is exceeded only by diamond and it does not break down or decompose. It is very inert and replaces lead in uses where it is exposed to the environment. 

  • What is driving Tungsten prices currently?

    • Critical metal because of unique properties
    • Steady increase in demand due to increasing number of products which use it
    • Chinese government policies forbidding the export of mineral concentrates, using export quotas and duties on APT and powders to limit exports
    • Chinese domination (75%+) of world wide mine production
    • Chinese desire to conserve its resources
    • Security and source of supply becoming increasingly important to tungsten buyers
    • No new major production has occurred for many years
    • Listed as a critical strategic metal by European Union and Britain
  • Price & Consumption

    • The price of tungsten as of May, 2014: approximately US $360/ metric tonne unit ("mtu", 1 mtu = 10 kilograms) for APT, or ammonium paratungstate, a refined form in which the metal is usually bought and sold.
    • Largest consumer of tungsten in the world: China, followed by Europe & North America.
    • Fastest growth in tungsten consumption: China, followed closely by India
  • Growth

    • Mature markets (Europe & N. America) expected to grow by 2% per annum
    • China domestic consumption is expected to continue growing in excess of 10% per annum, driven by increase in requirements for cutting and drilling tools

    Source: A Preliminary Market Review of Tungsten, Goodall Business and Resource Management Pt Ltd, January 2008, US Geological Survey, China Minmetals Nonferrous Metals Co., Ltd 2009

    For further information the International Tungsten Industry Association website is www.itia.info or CLICK HERE 

  • Related Documents

    • China's Stranglehold on Tungsten by Myra P Saefong 2006
    • A Preliminary Market Review of Tungsten by Goodall Business and Resource Management Pty Ltd January 2008
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