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Ferroalloys contract talks in final stretch for ’13

Keywords: Tags  ferroalloys, 2013 contracts, silicomanganese, ferrosilicon, molybdenum, high-carbon ferrochrome, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Discussions over next year’s ferroalloys contracts are entering the final stretch, with long-term agreements for some material already largely concluded.

Deals are again mainly being based on discounts to published numbers, sources said. Bulk alloy discounts so far are either steady or larger than those for 2012, while the direction on noble alloys is less clear.

"There’s maybe slight pressure to the downside on the bulks," according to one trader.

Buyers of silicomanganese and ferrochrome, in particular, reported greater discounts for 2013 than in 2012.

"Chrome is a little bit of a surprise and so is silicomanganese," one buying source said.

A second buying source also confirmed that he had received offers of greater discounts for next year’s silicomanganese.

Ferrochrome market "discounts seem to be slightly higher this year (for 2013 material) than last," one high-carbon ferrochrome trader agreed, adding that this was likely due to increased competition from foreign suppliers for long-term business.

Most long-term deals with large consumers of ferrosilicon and medium- and low-carbon ferromanganese have yet to be concluded, sources said, although one ferrosilicon supplier said he had done a significant amount of his long-term deals at similar levels to 2012.

Meanwhile, in the ferrovanadium market, sources agreed that discounts for next year’s contracts could be lower, although little business has been concluded so far.

"Producers are not as generous (with discounts) this time. There’s been so much given away in the past that some are saying this is kind of ridiculous," one market source said.

Reports on long-term molybdenum agreements were mixed, with the first buying source reporting long-term business concluded at lower discounts for molybdic oxide and ferromolybdenum than in 2012, while a producer source said he saw discounts for ferromolybdenum contracts rising due to more competition from foreign suppliers.

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