I agree that these parameters have to be closely watched for. IMO falling prices would be a concern in a stagnant or decreasing market demand product, but it seems to be totally the opposite for HPA.
Current market size is around 15,000 TPY and expected to grow to 25,350 TPY in 2015, so plenty of room for addtional Orbite HPA production.
Worldwide HPA market demand is expected to soar at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52% from 2009 to 2015, rising from 2,030 tonnes in 2009 to 25,350 tonnes in 2015. The high-technology, energy, and automobile sectors appreciate the substrate’s hardness, high corrosion resistance and high brightness.
I think the White Paper on HPA provides a good reference, but yet seems to be quite conservative, like RB during that interview. For example, we can see price for 6N high-purity alumina @ up to $500,000 per ton FOB China. Or the recent findings by Nakate of 4N gamma high-purity alumina 0.1 microns @ $ 2.3 M per ton or $580,000 per ton when cutting price by 400% to account for a volume "discount"...
White Paper only mentions that price can vary significantly within a single category.
I might be wrong, but from what I've seen, I think Orbite are underpromising and will overdeliver.
The price of the substrate varies according to its purity level. While 4N (99.99%) alumina is mostly used for more standard commercial applications, 5N (99.999%) and 6N (99.9999%) offer the higher quality and performance required in high-tech applications and tend to be more expensive. The average price for 4N HPA ranges between US $ 30/kg and US $ 60/kg, while the average price for 5N ranges between US $ 90/kg and US $ 120/kg, and for 6N, between US $ 210/kg and US $ 290/kg for the 2009-2015 period time frame. The price can also vary significantly within a single category (e.g. 6N), depending on the quality level.
((If you do some research, you have a very good ideaof the selling price orange for 4N, 5N and 6N (by the way, do not rely on Hykawywy...). ))
The think I am cautious about is not the historical selling price of HPA (4N, 5N, 6N), but the future selling price - and this his much harder to ascertain in a niche, and quite opaque market.
There are many companies that have built business cases on high commodity prices - both bulk and niche commodities - that have seen their business models fall apart when the market became saturated. This is especially true for niche markets. 5N Plus is a very good example - in the case of falling prices for bismuth, gallium, germanium, indium, tellurium, selenium and related compounds.
I'm not saying Orbite will suffer this fate, but it's an important scenario to watch for IMO.