NEW YORK High-carbon ferrochrome
prices continue to soften as suppliers chase diminishing spot
business with no signs of any impending tightness in
"There seem to be a lot of
willing sellers out there," a consumer source said.
Spot transactions remain slow
over the traditionally quiet summer months as stainless mills
are seeing a dearth of service center buying brought on by
declining nickel prices.
"There is just no volume at the
moment," a producer source said.
Prices are now between $1.11 and
$1.13 per pound, down from $1.12 to $1.15 per pound the prior
week, and are trending toward lows last seen in January.
Spot sales for truckload volumes
were made within the material grades AMM tracks this
past week, while intertrade offers were reported as low $1.10
per pound. Higher-quality material outside of
AMMs grade specifications is still said to be
trading at a premium to the current range, sources said.
The fall in prices comes as the
domestic market is well-supplied, even though less material has
made its way here in the first five months of the year than in
2011, U.S. Customs figures show. Year-to-date imports through
May total 237,982 tonnes, down 15.9 percent from 282,993 tonnes
in the year-ago period. Even so, sources said there was still
an overhang of material shipped in last year.
"Theres more than enough
material here. A lot of it is committed on contract deals, but
the producers always bring a little bit extra for spot," a
second trader said.