January 18, 2020 / 3:36 AM / a month ago

Fanya indium stockpile sold to Kunming Rongke for $416 mln in China auction

    BEIJING, Jan 18 (Reuters) - A vast stockpile of the indium
formerly held by China's Fanya Metal Exchange was sold on
Saturday, in a second attempt, as Kunming Rongke New Materials
bid around $416 million for the hoard.
    The fate of the 3,609.46 tonnes of indium – several years’
worth of global supply of the metal used in flat-panel displays
- was being closely watched by minor metals traders and Fanya
creditors seeking to recover their money after the bourse
collapsed in 2015.
    Kunming Rongke made the sole bid of 2.853 billion yuan 
($415.96 million), or 790.40 yuan per kg, to secure the indium
being sold by the Kunming Intermediate People's Court just over
five minutes before the 24-hour auction ended at 1000 Beijing
time (0200 GMT), a notice on e-commerce platform Taobao showed.
    That met the minimum asking price, which was kept the same
as in the first attempted sale last month even though that
auction failed to attract any bids.
    Little is known about Kunming Rongke, which paid almost 1.4
billion yuan to win four previous Fanya auctions in October and
November, picking up batches of germanium, gallium, selenium and
bismuth.
    The company was only established in September 2019 and its
legal representative is named Chen Lan, according to Yunnan
government tax documents, which do not provide a contact number
or email address for the firm.
    Weighed down by the Fanya inventory overhang, spot indium
prices in China AM-99C-INDM fell more than 40% in 2019 and are
currently at 875 yuan per kg, implying Kunming Rongke bought the
material at a 10% discount.
    In an email ahead of the auction, Jessica Roberts, a
London-based manager at consultancy Roskill, said she would not
be surprised if the indium "ultimately ends up in some sort of
state strategic stockpile".
    "Otherwise the indium market is looking at years more of low
prices," she wrote. "It's going to take some time to work
through four years' worth of global primary indium inventories,
even if a couple of producers come offline."
    The court had sold a much smaller batch of indium in April
but the remainder was set to be the last of the Fanya inventory
to go under the hammer in a series of minor metal and rare earth
auctions that have now raised some 8.5 billion yuan – still much
less than the 43 billion yuan creditors say they are owed. 
    The table below shows the results of the successful Fanya
auctions so far.  
 Commodity   Tonnes    Sold for        Winner
                       (yuan)          
 Indium         34.64  37.4 mln        China National Corp for
                                       Overseas Economic
                                       Cooperation
 Antimony      18,661  546.1 mln       China Minmetals Rare
                                       Earth Co
 Terbium         4.05  12.8 mln        China Minmetals Rare
 oxide                                 Earth Co
 Dysprosium    148.75  221.5 mln       China Minmetals Rare
 oxide                                 Earth Co
 APT           28,336  3.27 bln        China Molybdenum Co
 Rhodium        0.046  53.42 mln       Shanghai Xuyi Metal
                                       Material Co
 Cobalt            21  5.91 mln        Shanghai Sanqian New
                                       Energy Materials
 Silver         3.219  13.85 mln       Shanghai Xuyi Metal
                                       Materials Co
 Germanium      92.31  554.8 mln       Kunming Rongke New
                                       Materials
 Gallium      191.246  172.94 mln      Kunming Rongke New
                                       Materials
 Tellurium        170  51.95 mln       Vital Materials 
 Selenium       337.8  30.94 mln       Kunming Rongke New
                                       Materials
 Bismuth     19,228.0  606.07 mln      Kunming Rongke New
                    5                  Materials
 Tungsten      431.95  65.96 mln       China Minmetals
 bar                                   Tungsten Co
 Indium       3609.46  2.85 bln        Kunming Rongke New
                                       Materials
 ($1 = 6.8589 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly, Se Young Lee and Hallie Gu; Editing by
Muralikumar Anantharaman)
  
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