BERLIN The noble alloys
market is expected to improve, but only because the situation
cant get any worse, according to traders.
"People have got used to it.
They are optimistic for next year because its all we have
at the moment," one trader told AMM sister publication
Metal Bulletin on the sidelines of its 28th
International Ferro-Alloys Conference in Berlin. "Weve
been so accustomed to crisis that weve started thinking
it has to pick up. Were ready to go into next year, and
were hoping for the best."
And some traders have been able
to benefit from the volatility in prices and have taken
opportunities to fix forward prices at low levels and then
covered when the market fell.
"We would like to see prices go
up sometimes as well, though," the trader added.
In theory, consumers of noble
alloys should also benefit from lower prices. But because they
have been forced to produce less, they are also buying less.
Their own order books are a more pressing concern to them than
raw materials prices.
In ferromolybdenum, it is
becoming increasingly difficult to make money on conversion
contracts as prices for end products fall while molybdic oxide
prices remain relatively stable, the trader said.
"Producers are cutting back on
shipping. I get the feeling were close to the bottom,
thoughthere cant be much more room to go down," he
said. "The prices are very depressed (for ferromolybdenum).
Whenever theres any business, everybodys competing
A version of this article
was first published by AMM sister publication Metal