The European Federation of Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers, Eumabois, found that tungsten is the main constituent of hard metals, a key material for the production of cutting edges for tools used in machining processes in the wood and furniture industry.
In October, the price of the most popular tungsten-based commercial product, ammonium paratungstate, was about 450 dollars per metric ton. In the middle of 2010, this price was in the range of 250 dollars. The current weakening of the global economy has led to stable prices for tool manufacturers over the past few months.
“However, this positive signal should not reduce our level of attention to the difficult situation of raw material markets,” said Paul Oertli, president of Eumabois Toolgroup. “As a result of reduced export by Chinese suppliers, prices are still at critical levels despite a slight reduction of demand from many tools manufacturers.”
In October, the “British Geological Survey” placed tungsten at number one in the list of elements ranked by unreliability of supplies in 2011.
“In 2012, we expect a still difficult market scenario. Chinese suppliers dominating the sector will focus on tungsten as strategic metal also in the future. Other raw material sources will not help relieve tension in the short and medium term," said Dr. Andreas Bock, president of Wolfram Bergbau und Hutten AG, Austria, a European supplier of tungsten and related carbides.
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