NEW YORK Silicomanganese
prices have softened as a dearth of fourth-quarter inquiries
has led sellers to sharpen their bids.
"It looks like the fourth
quarter is going to be ugly from a requirement standpoint, so
people are trying to secure the business that they can," one
market source said.
Prices are now between 58 and 61
cents per pound, down from 60 to 62 cents previously, with
fourth-quarter business concluded at the low end of the range,
while truckload sales were reported at the upper end in the
A source at one end-user
reportedly secured material at lower price levels for the
fourth quarter, albeit not on a spot basis.
There was some anticipation in
late August that tightening global supplies could firm prices
in the fourth quarter (
amm.com, Aug. 24), but softening demand due to
sluggish steel production rates and a recent proliferation of
imports have nixed that expectation.
"People are just not coming out
for large quantities," one trader said.
U.S. imports of silicomanganese
shot up to 54,148 tonnes in July, the highest monthly level
this year, according to the latest figures from the U.S.
Customs Bureau. The main overseas suppliers were Georgia
(22,206 tonnes) and South Africa (14,749 tonnes).