Antimony

Domestic Production and Use: In 2017, no marketable antimony was mined in the United States. A mine in Nevada that had extracted about 800 tons of stibnite ore from 2013 through 2014 was placed on care-and-maintenance status in 2015 and had no reported production in 2017. Primary antimony metal and oxide were produced by one company in Montana using imported feedstock. Secondary antimony production was derived mostly from antimonial lead recovered from spent lead-acid batteries. The estimated value of secondary antimony produced in 2017, based on the average New York dealer price for antimony, was about $33 million. Recycling supplied about 15% of estimated domestic consumption, and the remainder came mostly from imports. The value of antimony consumption in 2017, based on the average New York dealer price, was about $228 million. The estimated distribution of domestic primary antimony consumption was as follows: nonmetal products, including ceramics and glass and rubber products, 31%; flame retardants, 31%; and metal products, including antimonial lead and ammunition, 38%.

Starting in the fourth quarter of 2014 through the first quarter of 2016, the average quarterly antimony price decreased from $4.05 per pound to $2.60 per pound, its lowest level since 2009. Average quarterly prices then increased for the remainder of 2016 to $4.16 per pound in the fourth quarter of 2016. During 2017, the average quarterly antimony price was around $4.00 per pound.

China was the leading global antimony producer. In 2016, many large producers reduced production and many small producers closed in response to price declines and stricter environmental controls from Provincial and National governments. At the beginning of 2017, the Ministry of Commerce of China lifted the export quota for antimony, which was set at 54,400 tons in 2016, and introduced an export license system in its place. In the fall of 2017, as prices recovered, some private sector antimony producers began to reopen following antipollution checks.

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