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

(Repeats story published on Saturday with no changes to text) 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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