NEW YORK Warehousing
company C. Steinweg Handelsveen BV has told customers that it
is unable to handle certain ferrotitanium parcels stored in its
Rotterdam facilities because material obtained from Russian
producer VSMPO-Avisma Corp. might be contaminated with
asbestos, market sources said.
Noble Resources Corp., the agent
for VSMPO, informed customers last week that there is a
possibility that consignments of ferrotitanium produced by
VSMPO might contain asbestos, and asked them to take urgent
steps to isolate the material and notify anyone they have
supplied with such material.
Market participants still
havent been told how much material has been affected and
over what time frame, or what Noble and VSMPO are doing to
resolve the situation, according to many sources.
Those with VSMPO material in
warehouses are now unable to forward it to their own
"Steinweg has called people on
the advice of Noble saying you have material in the
warehouse but we wont touch it because theres a
risk it contains asbestos," one market source with
material in Steinweg warehouses told AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.
A second market source, who also
has VSMPO material in Steinweg warehouses, said his material
was stuck. However, het praised Steinweg for taking the health
and safety threat seriously.
"Ive tried to have
material moved but Steinweg said theyre not going to move
it until they have clarification, and that could take a few
days," the source said. "I think theyre absolutely right;
you need to know the nature of the beast. Its a sensible
approach and Im delighted because we do a lot of business
Both Steinweg and Noble declined
Noble stopped offering VSMPO
material in mid-November without explanation and some
deliveries were recalled, causing ferrotitanium prices to
Material is trading at $7 to $8
per kilogram in Europe, up from $6.80 to $7.20 per kg on Nov.
21 and the three-year low of $5.70 to $5.90 per kg on Oct.
"Its pausing for breath at
the moment, but it moved from the mid-$5s to $8 in a couple of
weeks," a third source said.
VSMPO didnt respond to
requests for comment.
A version of this article was first published by AMM
sister publication Metal Bulletin.