SHANGHAI Chinas State Reserve Bureau (SRB) could soon conduct a second round of antimony buying to make up for a shortfall in a tender late last year, according to market sources.
There is talk that the SRB plans to buy about 4,000 tonnes of the minor metal, following a purchase of about 4,000 tonnes in November.
"The original plan was to buy 7,500 tonnes (in November), but the SRB only managed to buy about 4,000 tonnes as its offer and payment terms were not good enough," one market source told AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.
A few major state-owned antimony smelters participated in the November state reserve purchase, and they are still delivering the material, sources said.
"Our estimate is that the SRB will conduct and finish the second round of purchasing before May," a source at a major smelter said.
But such a purchase might do little to help boost antimony prices, given high inventory levels and limited demand.
"That amount would be small compared with the inventories of antimony smelters. They have thousands of tonnes," one trader said.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.