Demand and Pricing
Tungsten is typically priced according to Metric Ton Units (MTU) of Ammonium Para Tungstate (APT), which is the main tungsten raw material traded in the market.
1 MTU is equal to 10 kgs and 1 MTU of APT contains approximately 7.93 kgs of tungsten. APT and concentrate prices are mainly based on quotations published twice weekly by London’s metal bulletin and other trade journals (ITIA).
The global tungsten market is mainly driven by China, which will continue to dominate both tungsten supply and consumption. The Chinese government’s increased regulations and restrictions on exports of tungsten ore and increased domestic demand resulting from the manufacturing of value added tungsten products has caused China to become a net importer of tungsten concentrate. These factors along with China’s high growth in automotive, aerospace, mining and electronics sectors are also a major factor behind its dominant market position.
The global demand for tungsten is forecasted to rise annually (3-7% per annum according to the British Geological Survey) and is predicted to outstrip available supply which will place continued upward pressure on prices in the near-term.
Tungsten alloys will experience the fastest growth of any major product category, stimulated largely by increasing aerospace manufacturing demands. However, cemented carbides will continue to account for the largest share of processed tungsten consumption as increased production in the construction, mining, aerospace, machinery and metal products industries will spur demand for tungsten-containing cutting tools, dies, drills, weights and wear parts, among others.
Tungsten mill products (pure tungsten metal products) such as electrodes, lighting filaments, electrical and electronic contacts, sheets, wires, rods, etc. will have steady growth, fueled by the demand for tungsten’s usage in a multitude of electrical and electronic applications.