Big manganese alloy users start 2010 contract talks

Nov 17, 2009 | 06:50 AM | Tom Jennemann

Large U.S. manganese alloy consumers have initiated 2010 contract talks, but small- and medium-sized buyers are still hesitant to buy forward, according to market participants.

"(Manganese alloy consumers) are starting to come to the market to look at 2010 volumes," a U.S.-based ferromanganese trader said. "Some guys are looking at quarterly (contracts), while others are eyeing annual formula-driven contracts. Whether or not they will pull the trigger before the (Thanksgiving) holiday, I don't know."

Because of the global recession earlier in the year, the normal timing for contract negotiations has been thrown out of whack this year.

"In other years, we would be in the middle of the heat of it, but this year everything is delayed," a second ferroalloys trader said. "Larger companies, which have some flexibly when it comes to tonnages, are only now looking to put their annual contracts to bed. The more medium-sized guys, whose businesses still aren't very good, are pretty reluctant to commit to anything, so they're putting it off."....

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