Nihon Seiko Raises Antimony Trioxide Price by 110 yen/kg

Nihon Seiko, Japanese top supplier of antimony, announced the firm would raise the selling price of antimony trioxide products by 110 yen per kilogram for shipment on and after March 10. Nihon Seiko already raised the price by 100 yen per kilogram as the total of 2 times price hike in June and September 2005, when antimony metal price soared. However, antimony metal price increased further and the firm decided another price hike to cover the increase of the material cost after September.Antimony trioxide is mainly used as fire retardant for plastic, while antimony metal is used for car batteries. The international spot price of antimony metal is currently US$ 4,300-4,500 per kilogram for 99.85% of purity, according to Reuters, though the real price is much higher. Some offer prices are soaring to US$ 4,725 per kilogram, increasing by over 20% from September 2005.Antimony metal price increased sharply with tight supply of antimony ore from China, where 70% of the world’s antimony ore is produced, and with the demand growth for car batteries. Traders seem to hold few antimony metal stocks and the supply became even tighter after Chinese New Year holidays.Antimony metal price is likely to increase more when Chinese government lowered the value added tax (VAT) refund ratio from 8% to 5% in January and when the government announced it would control the domestic mining volume of antimony and tungsten ores. Antimony metal demand maintains active for auto batteries additionally. Nihon Seiko needs to put the increasing material cost on the antimony trioxide price since antimony metal supply would keep tight.