China court sets date for more Fanya minor metal auctions

BEIJING, Oct 21 (Reuters) - A court in Southwest China will on Oct. 27 launch four simultaneous online auctions of minor metal inventories formerly held by the now-defunct Fanya Metal Exchange, notices on e-commerce platform Taobao said.

The Kunming Intermediate People’s Court will sell off 92.31 tonnes of germanium, 191.246 tonnes of gallium, 170 tonnes of tellurium and 337.8 tonnes of selenium over a 24-hour period due to end at 1000 Beijing time (0200 GMT) on Oct. 28.

The series of auctions will attract the attention of traders in minor metals, given the large volumes coming on to the market, as well as former creditors of the Fanya exchange who are trying to recover their money after its collapse in 2015. Fanya was then taken over by government investigators.

There have already been six Fanya inventory auctions so far, which have raised more than 4 billion yuan ($565.85 million) but creditors say they are owed 10 times that figure.

The latest volumes constitute the entire inventory of those four metals held by the exchange when it folded, according to data assembled by the creditors.

In the case of germanium, used in semiconductors, the 92.31 tonnes is equivalent to more than three-quarters of last year’s global refined supply of 120 tonnes, as estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey. China is the world’s biggest producer of germanium.

The germanium also accounts for more than two-thirds of the combined market value of 948.3 million yuan of all four batches being auctioned, the notices show.

Spot prices for germanium in China SMM-MIN-GMN have fallen more than 28% over the past 18 months to 7,400 yuan per kg as the Fanya inventory overhang weighs on minor metal markets.

Minimum prices have already been set for the auction. The starting price in the germanium auction will be equal to 5,696 yuan per kg. ($1 = 7.0690 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Tom Daly. Editing by Jane Merriman)