US magnesium consumers, suppliers are ‘worlds apart’

Nov 25, 2008 | 11:30 AM | Tom Jennemann

U.S. magnesium consumers and suppliers are far apart in negotiating 2009 contracts as the automotive market falters and global prices have dipped significantly, although domestic prices have softened only slightly over the past several months, market sources said.

"There is a real disconnect in the marketplace right now," one magnesium trader said. "(Consumers) are looking at the god-awful automotive market and the plummeting prices in China and Europe and are pretty much demanding better contract terms, but to this point most suppliers have held out."

Market participants estimated that spot prices for pure magnesium in the United States have dipped to a range of $3.20 to $3.45 per pound, on a delivered basis, from $3.30 to $3.50 previously. The spread is even wider for magnesium alloys, with die-casters saying they have been quoted spot prices of between $2.80 and $3.20 per pound. ....

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