Prices for tungsten, the key material used for producing cemented carbide tools, heavy metals, and other powder metallurgy products have stabilised in recent months. According to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review the price of ammonium paratungstate (APT), the intermediate material of tungsten, is currently priced at around $372-$382 per 10 kg.
Prices declined by about 10% from peaks at the end of August last year largely because of producers rushing to unload inventory before year-end. The fall, however, has been slowing down since the end of last year as can be seen in the Fig. 1. The price of tungsten carbide powder (3-4 micron) was also reported stable at $46/kg (Metal Pages, March 2014) compared with $53/kg in August 2013.
However, as Fig. 1 shows the lowest price for tungsten in 2013 remains almost double those seen five years ago. Nevertheless, unlike some other critical and rare metals, the price of APT is relatively stable. The price of neodymium, a rare metal used for making high-performance magnets, has for example collapsed recently after increasing by a factor of ten over the past five years.