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US Buyers Move on Silicomanganese

Source: Time:2014-01-21 09:13:39 views:

The US spot bulk ferroalloy market was slightly more active over the past week as several large steel companies were out looking to cover short-term needs on a number of materials. While spot volumes, for the most part, over the past month have been insubstantial, the last ten days have seen volumes range from 500 to 1,000 tons for various mills across the country. Many market players noted that some suppliers would simply not offer material for spot transactions. One seller remarked, “I don’t know where the mills will get their volumes [for immediate delivery]. There was a lot of pushback on contracts and discounts, and some companies thought they could play the spot market and prices would go down, but it has been the opposite.” Silicomanganese was a hot commodity over the past week, with at least three companies searching for material for several mills. One shipment to a US-based consumer settled at 56 cents per lb, while an additional 100 tons was booked at 57 cents per lb to another consumer. The US silicomanganese price has increased over the last week to 56-57 cents per lb, ex-warehouse. Meanwhile, one trader reported that his current bids to buyers were over 60 cents per lb, ex-warehouse, although others thought that those prices were too bullish. “I don’t think that the recent rise is demand driven, but rather from the supply side. Not many of your typical suppliers are able to offer any extra volumes into the spot market,” stated another source.
There was also heightened activity in the high-carbon ferromanganese market, where one consumer was out with an RFQ for a substantial spot purchase for one or more of its domestic mills. The delivery was believed to be immediate, so many questioned who would have such large volumes free for shipment outside of their reserves for contract obligations. The bids were due over the last few days, and it is unclear if the material had been awarded. One seller remarked, “A customer was looking for additional material, and they said that they could not get anything in Pittsburgh right now. I think some buyers were looking to play down the market, but there has been upward pressure and others have caught themselves short.” There were some other very small spot deals for medium and low-carbon ferromanganese within the current ranges.
Ferrosilicon activity was only slightly more subdued over the past week in the US, but there were some mills looking for material. Spot buys ranged from 95 cents to 100 cents per lb, ex- warehouse based on seller and consumer transactions. The price range reflects this week’s activity, while one other seller noted that his contract customers were having difficulty finding material. Others, however, noted that there was plenty of cheap material flowing into the US from Vietnam, perhaps closer to 92-93 cents per lb. Some speculated that a portion of this material may be Chinese and did not include the 25% export duty.
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