Vanadium market perspectives are determined by Chinese high strength rebar standards in the steel industry and the emerging need for large-scale electricity storage which makes vanadium redox-flow batteries (VRBs) major potential future use of vanadium.

Vanadium Key Features:

Vanadium is a grey, soft and ductile high-value metal. Vanadium and vanadium compounds can be found in the earth's crust, in rocks, some iron ores, and crude petroleum deposits. Vanadium usually combines with other elements such as oxygen, sodium, sulfur, chloride and metals to make special alloys. Vanadium oxide is a yellow-orange powder, dark-gray flakes, or yellow crystals. Vanadium is also mixed with iron to make important parts for aircraft engines. Vanadium in the form of vanadium oxide is a component in special kinds of steel that is used for automobile parts, springs, and ball bearings. Vanadium plays a critical role for the whole steel supply chain contributing to the strength and economic efficiency demanded in steel materials.

Vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) are poised to become a key component of the renewable energy trend. VRFBs are scalable energy storage batteries that use a vanadium electrolyte liquid solution to store and release large amounts of energy. They have a lifespan of 20+ years, are able to discharge 100% of their stored energy without any damage to the battery, and provide users with a guaranteed uninterrupted power supply. High purity vanadium is used in the production of Ti-Al-V master alloys.

Key Applications:

  • Increased steel efficiency and strength
  • Improved aircraft fuel efficiency
  • Vanadium redox flow batteries

Key Producers of Vanadium:

  • TCI America
  • ChemTik
  • MP BIomedIcals
  • Strem ChemIcals
  • Omkar Specialty Chemicals
  • MuseChem
  • Richman Chemical
  • Boc Sciences
  • VanadiumCorp
  • HBIS Group
  • Hunan Hanrui

Key End Markets:

Based on end-use, the vanadium market can be classified into automotive chemical, energy storage, and other sectors. In automobiles, vanadium is added to vehicle bodies to make them lighter and stronger, thereby making it more fuel efficient. Automobile companies are estimated to incorporate the use of vanadium alloy on a large scale.

Vanadium’s corrosion-resistant properties are used in production of high-strength, low-alloy steel and other high-performance steel. Also, vanadium participates in creating titanium alloys for the aerospace end market and as an oxidation catalyst in pollution control and chemical production processes.

In energy storage, a vanadium redox battery is used to store energy. Vanadium redox battery uses vanadium ions in different oxidation states to store chemical potential energy. Other end-uses of vanadium consist of vanadium-titanium alloy for aerospace application, as titanium- vanadium alloy possesses the best strength to weight ratio.

Supply Characteristics:

Estimated world mine production of vanadium exceeded 86,000 tons in 2020. Vanadium occurs in deposits of phosphate rock, titaniferous magnetite, and uraniferous sandstone and siltstone, where it constitutes less than 2% of the host rock. Significant quantities are also present in bauxite and carboniferous materials, such as coal, crude oil, oil shale, and tar sands. Because vanadium is typically recovered as a byproduct or coproduct, demonstrated world resources of the element are not fully indicative of available supplies. More than half of vanadium is mined in China, while China, Russia and South Africa together account for 85% of world mine production. The global vanadium market is concentrated. Major players of the market are Evraz, Bushveld Minerals, Australian Vanadium, Angang Steel Company, AMG Vanadium, among others. There will be some new supply from existing producers such as Bushveld, AMG and Largo Resources over the next 3 years and the question is whether this can keep up with surging demand and what happens post 2021.

The main demand for vanadium is generated by the steel industry. In recent years there has been an increased interest in vanadium regarding possible application in the production of vanadium redox batteries, however, due to high metal prices, there has been no great activity in this direction. Over the last years the global vanadium market has come to a certain balance of supply and demand, but in 2020 production decreased, as did the demand, as a result of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Erik Sardain, an analyst at Roskill, expects demand from the steel sector to remain strong in China throughout the second half of 2021, while vanadium demand in the rest of the world will also continue to grow steadily. CRU Group’s Willis Thomas expects that as more conversations and announcements surrounding the battery segment occur, the demand for vanadium will increase.

Price Trends

Vanadium is sold in many different forms - Vanadium Pentoxide, FerroVanadium and Vanadium Nitrides. Vanadium Pentoxide is a specific crystalline compound with the specific formula (V2O5), usually priced in USD per pound (lb). The Vanadium Pentoxide prices had sharply increased to US$29 per lb in November 2018 as a result of the Vanadium boom. The main reason for the China vanadium spot price increase was the country’s rule changes to strengthen steel rebar, hence requiring more vanadium. China’s new rebar standard and the central government’s special actions to cut down on low-quality steel significantly warmed up the vanadium market in 2018. One year later, in November 2019, the vanadium market had dropped to around US$5 per lb because the new rebar standard had not been as strictly enforced as expected when announced. In the beginning of 2021, vanadium prices increased in all main markets on the back of solid demand, low inventories and renewed optimism in the overall metals and industrial complex.

Сhinese infrastructure sector continues to drive vanadium demand following the implementation of the country's new rebar regulations and currently vanadium pentoxide price has consolidated at around US$ 8per lb. Moreover, one of the important additional drivers of global vanadium demand is the new demand for vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs), which may be used like a fuel cell or like a rechargeable battery. Renewable energy transition is expected to drive new VRFB deployments worldwide.

Vanadium Pentoxide (98% min) price chart, US$/oz:


The global vanadium market is expected to have a total growth around 28.31 thousand tons during 2020-2024. A rise in China's vanadium demand from the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) industry is expected to rise to at least 9,100t of vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) equivalent in 2022 on the back of increasing energy storage projects. The Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries Market was valued at USD 171.91 Million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 697.91 Million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 18.40% from 2021 to 2028. Rising demand for technologically advanced batteries, as well as an increasing utility for grid energy storage and power plants, are driving the global Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries Market. The GlobalVanadium Redox Flow Batteries Market report provides a holistic evaluation of the market. The report offers a comprehensive analysis of key segments, trends, drivers, restraints, competitive landscape, and factors that are playing a substantial role in the market.

Key points of vanadium demand:

  • Vanadium demand in the steel market is expected at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (“CAGR”) of approximately 2.7 % through to 2029.
  • Global vanadium demand probably will reach approximately 138,000 tonnes by 2029.
  • The demand for Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (“VRFBs”) could increase vanadium demand by an additional 6 % per annum
  • The World Bank Group forecasts that by 2050 vanadium demand from energy storage alone could consume nearly twice the 2018 global vanadium production.
  • The market deficit is forecast to return between 2021 and 2023, thereafter moving back into surplus, as new supply comes on stream.
  • Electricity’s share of global energy consumption is expected to account for about 45 % by 2050.
  • Stationary energy storage is expected to exceed 100 GWh and become a US$50 billion market by 2027, rising to 2,800 GWh by 2040.

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