HAMBURG, Oct 19 (Reuters) - German and European industry faces disruption from tight global supplies of magnesium, the country’s association of metals producers WVM said on Tuesday.
European magnesium stocks are running down and shortages are in sight because of lack of supplies from China, the association said in a letter to the German government.
“It is expected, that the current magnesium inventories in Germany and respectively in the whole of Europe will be exhausted by the end of November 2021,” the letter said.
Magnesium is used for wide a range of products, especially aluminium alloys. But China, Europe’s main magnesium supplier, has been cutting output to conserve power supplies.
High power prices in China and Europe have hit producers of metals including aluminium, silicon and zinc, causing a sharp rise in prices and tighter global supplies.
New concern is a growing shortage of both silicon and magnesium due to supply-chain disruption, Reuters analyst Andy Home said on Oct. 18.
The WVM called on Germany’s government to start talks with China about increasing magnesium supplies to Europe, and also called on Germany to press the European Union to return magnesium production to Europe.
“With a supply bottleneck of this proportion, massive production losses are threatened in the entire aluminium value-addition chain in sectors such as the automobile, aircraft, electro-bicycle, construction, the packaging industry and engineering,” the association said.
The association said significant magnesium production in Europe ended in 2001 and it estimates imports from China currently cover 95% of Europe’s magnesium needs. (Reporting by Michael Hogan, Editing by Louise Heavens)