Despite shrinking demand, the situation of tungsten prices and availability is still tense, says Eumabois, the European Federation of Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers.

Tungsten is the main constituent of hard metals, which are one of the key materials for the production of cutting edges for tools used in several operations and machining processes in the wood and furniture industry.

In October, the ‘British Geological Survey’ placed tungsten at number one in the list of elements ranked by unreliability of supplies in 2011.

“In 2012, we expect a still difficult market scenario. Chinese suppliers dominating the sector will focus on tungsten as strategic metal also in the future. Other raw material sources will not help relieve tension in the short and medium term,” said Dr Andreas Bock, president of Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten AG, Austria, one of the few European suppliers of tungsten and related carbides.