The US begins an investigation of vanadium imports from Russia and China
The US Department of Commerce was asked about this by national vanadium producers. They argue that their interests are undermined by the low cost of imported products and the industrial policies of Russia and China.
The US Department of Commerce has launched an investigation into vanadium imports from Russia and China. In particular, the agency intends to find out whether the current volumes of imported products threaten the country’s national security. This is stated on the website of the ministry.
The investigation was decided after U.S. vanadium producers (AMG Vanadium LLC and U.S. Vanadium LLC) filed a petition in November 2019. They argue that the interests of national producers are hurt by the low cost of imported vanadium, restrictions on export markets due to tax regimes, and the influence of industrial policies in Russia and China.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross noted that vanadium is used in the national defense industry and is also an integral part of aerospace construction.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in 2019, the US dependence on imports of vanadium was 94% of the country’s consumption of this metal, and the main suppliers of vanadium were Austria, Canada, Russia, and South Korea. In 2015–2018, the main sources of imports of ferrovanadium (an alloy of iron with vanadium) in the United States were Austria (48%), Canada (22%), Russia (14%), South Korea (11%). Vanadium pentoxide was mainly imported from South Africa (44%), Brazil (29%) and China (11%).
Based on the data of the Geological Survey, in 2015–2018, the United States imported an average of 333 tons of Russian ferrovanadium annually.
In addition, in 2019, the United States imported 283 tons of vanadium from Russia, including waste and scrap, as well as alloys of aluminum with vanadium. In the first quarter of 2020, the United States imported 37 tons from Russia for the same heading.
At the same time, according to the Federal Customs Service of Russia, ferrovanadium to the United States from Russia was not directly supplied in 2017–2020 but could be delivered through third countries. In 2019, Russia exported 1.3 thousand tons of ferrovanadium in the amount of $ 31 million to countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Belarus, China, India, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Ukraine.
Net profit of Evraz for the first half-year increased 13.3 times
The largest exporter of vanadium from Russia is the Evraz group (Evraz Vanadium Tula). In 2019, Evraz, which produces vanadium in Russia and the Czech Republic, received revenue from the sale of vanadium products (slag and alloys) in the amount of $ 648 million compared to $ 1.15 billion a year earlier, and Evraz’s vanadium supplies to the world market accounted for almost 19% of the global consumption of this product.
According to the service, China and Russia have the largest reserves of vanadium in the world – 9.5 million and 5 million tons, respectively.