NEW YORK The rise seen this year in domestic ferrovanadium spot sales could come to an end in 2013, as some mills that have been actively buying prompt material are once again looking to lock in contracts, market sources told AMM.
"It (the increased activity) wont be for long," one market source said, adding that at least one mill that has been active in the spot market this year is looking to secure contract tonnage for next year.
Mills not covered by contracts have occasionally been buying material well above published prices, while contract business for the material is mostly based on discounts to published prices.
"I think we should expect that they would try" to lock in contracts, a second market source said. However, the source added that no long-term business has yet been concluded.
Increased spot sales drove prices up to between $15 and $16 per pound in mid-March, the highest level seen since the beginning of July 2010.
Since then, tags have softened as demand has waned, and prices continued to fall this past week to between $11.50 and $13.20 per pound from $11.50 to $13.50 per pound previously.
A domestic mill was said to have bought significant quantities of material at the upper end of the range, and inter-trade business was reported toward the lower end.
"This mill (that bought at the upper end of the range recently) was uncovered," the first market source said.
Ferrovanadium tags have been in a wide range this year due to the increase in spot sales. Large sales are often concluded at higher numbers, while sellers compete vigorously at lower prices for smaller quantities.