SHANGHAI Most Chinese
ferrosilicon producers lifted their offer prices slightly this
week after inquiries began to pick up.
Offers from major production
bases, such as Ningxia, Gansu, Qinghai and Inner Mongolia, have
risen to a range of 5,850 to 6,000 yuan ($936 to $960) per
tonne, up 50 to 100 yuan ($8 to $16) from a week earlier,
producer sources said.
"Steel prices recovered somewhat
after the (weeklong national) holiday (at the end of
September), so it gave ferrosilicon producers the confidence to
raise offers to decrease losses," a source at an Inner Mongolia
producer told AMM sister publication Metal
Bulletin. The number of price inquiries has increased
compared with before the holiday, she added.
A source at a smelter in Ningxia
agreed but worried that it might be difficult to sustain demand
after the price increases.
Spot ferrosilicon prices in the
Chinese market remained unchanged Thursday at 5,800 to 5,900
yuan ($928 to $944) per tonne.
"There are two reasons for
producers to raise offers at this time. One is that overall
smelter operating rates remain low, as most of the idled
smelters still have no plans to restart, and the other is that
demand actually improved a bit after the holiday," a Shanghai
analyst said, noting that producers are still losing several
hundred yuan on every tonne of ferrosilicon they refine, so
they have a strong incentive to raise offers.
However, producers and traders
have not lifted their export market offers due to a lack of
trading activity. "We have kept our offers unchanged as there
have been very few sales recently," a source at Erdos
Metallurgy Group said.
The average operating rate of smelters in Ningxia,
Chinas biggest ferrosilicon production area, reportedly
is around 50 percent.