One helpful thing that US customs does is to make public their shipping import records. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean that these are freely available via a google search – as is often the case the US government’s commitment to open information access is tempered by its interest in making money – thus it sells this information to a number of other service providers who will try and sell this on as general ‘Business Intelligence’. Examples of these services are:
Some of these give you small amounts of old (>2 years), recent (3 months) or current (last shipment typically) data for free as lures to try and get you to sign up for their (fairly expensive) data services. The last two services seem to offer the most amount of useful information for free.
By carefully piecing together all the shipments since Bushveld completed the Vametco acquisition on the 31st March 2017 we have been able to build up the following shipment log. The first shipment that is counted is the one that arrived in Baltimore on the 5th of May – it takes between 23-29 days to travel from Durban, SA to Baltimore, USA so the arrival on the 21st April is not counted as that left Durban on the 29th March, two days before the Vametco deal completed.
In July 2017 the Chinese Vanadium bomb dropped and prices for FeV shot up there from around 25 USD/Kg to more than 50 USD/Kg – on the 31st July Fortune tweeted that Nitrovan was now selling at higher than 52 USD/Kg in China, when they had been only around 28 USD/Kg at the start of the month. You will recall that Nitrovan attracts a premium of around 5% with regard to FerroVanadium. The prices rises in the US were slower to hit and as sales price will have most probably been fixed on departure we have conservatively applied this price increase incrementally only over the deliveries arriving after August the 15th.
September is clearly only partially through and we may also see other shipments in August show up. July was particularly high because of shipments that just made it in at the start and end of the month. Even assuming that no further shipments turn up in August the average quantity shipped in June/July/August works out at 171 Tonnes per month yielding an average revenue of $5.2 Million per month. This averages out around 30 USD/Kg – now that prices are in excess of 45 USD/Kg we can expect average monthly revenue to rise to approximately $8 Million USD per month.
Many people have contributed to the consolidation of this data and we would particularly like to thank LSE posters Paludina and dfallows and, yet to join us on LSE, ‘Leigh’. It is truly remarkable to be able to see the company’s sales orders like this, perhaps even before the customers get invoiced, and to be able to so clearly validate everything that BMN is telling us about Vametco production.