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The impact of fluorspar pricing on refrigerants.

CHINA: Huge increases in the price of a vital component in the production of HFCs could increase pressure on global refrigerant gas prices.
The price of fluorspar, the ore from which HFC hydrofluoric acid is produced, has reached a four-year high in China, the world’s largest producer of the mineral.

Fluorspar prices have risen by almost 40% since February, leading to increases in China of around 60% in the price of R22 and R134a, a 130% increase in the price of the HFC component R125 and a massive 160% increase in the cost of R32.

The increases are attributed to new environmental constraints in China in fluorspar mining and hydrofluoric acid production. Since the end of 2016, China’s environmental law enforcement has been significantly strengthened. As a result, the production of products such as hydrofluoric acid, a highly corrosive chemical, is now under environmental protection and safety requirements.

China supplies more than 50% of global fluorspar demand, so there are likely to be further increases in refrigerant prices, particularly in Europe, where the reduction of HFCs is already affecting high GWP gases.


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