VITAL MATERIALS conducts aggressive sales activities with its comprehensive product lineup

2016/04/07

@Chinese leading miner metal producer, VITAL MATERIALS (First Rare Materials in China) came into the market just 15 years ago. As the company is conducting sales activities on a global basis, holding offices in Belgium, Japan, UK, Taiwan and Philippines with 7 plants in the world, it is well known as a minor metal major company in the industry.

@The company holds about 1,800 employees. The sales amount was about JPY25bn both last year and the year before last. While other minor metal producers reduced their sales due to the dropped prices, the company has left excellent results.
@Among a lot of minor metals they are trading, it has strengths in selenium and tellurium. Especially, the company trades 800t of selenium per year and accounts for 30 percentages of global selenium markets. In addition, it established a joint venture company with Belgian Umicore last year where they produces ITO target. As to germanium, VITAL produces up to tetroxide germanium for optical fiber. The company is characterized by a wide variety of product lines from raw materials to minor metal processed materials derived from raw materials.

@Last year when FANYA Metal Exchange failed, VITAL, the leader of the minor metal industry received attention in various ways. We interviewed with Mori, the companyfs representative in Japan.

- Minor metal prices dropped drastically for the past year from a third to a fifth as you know. While indium prices dropped from $700 to $230, selenium dropped from $25 to $5 and tellurium dropped $80 to $25, another company in the same industry had terrible financial results in 2015 posting a deficit of $80mn. But, why was your companyfs sales unchanged at JPY25bn?


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@gOur company creates various applications from an element and circulates the products not only in Chinese domestic markets but also in global markets. Previously, our sales ratio was 5:5 for domestic and overseas markets, but now we have more sales outside China (China : Overseas=3:5). This is what makes us different from other companies. That was the biggest reason for us to have kept steady amid the sharp drop in prices.h

- Could you clarify the various applications?
@gFor example, in case of germanium, we produce up to tetroxide germanium for optical fiber. And, as to indium, besides producing raw material indium, we already started to produce ITO target. As to gallium, we produce even finished products such as GaAs wafers.

- You have also established a company for ITO target with Belgian Umicore.
@gThe equipment has been already introduced there, where the operation has been starting gradually.h

- How about indium?
@gOur plant in China has 50t of production capacity. Zinc slag and scraps are used to make the raw material, but as we have dry and wet refining equipment, we can even process and refine raw materials included in the ppm range. We are going to conduct sales activities so aggressively to account for a third of indium imported into Japan from China (40t).h

- Could you tell me your sales strategies in Japan?
@gWe launched the office in Japan two years ago to start sales activities. The sales and purchasing has amounted to about JPY1bn in total. In the same period, the items wefre trading have increased from 4 to 15. As we have increased our market shares especially in bismuth and germanium, we want to conduct more aggressive sales activities.h

iEdited by Sasakij

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