NEW YORK Domestic molybdic oxide prices have risen as supply becomes increasingly tight and some traders stock up ahead of an expected demand pick-up in the first quarter.
"From the trade side, there seem to be some people taking positions. We havent really seen an uptick from the consumers," one producer source said.
Prices are now between $11.80 and $12.10 per pound, up from $11.10 to $11.50 previously, with inter-trade business of truckload quantities reported at the low end of the range and a consumer reportedly buying similar volumes at the upper end in the past week.
But while traders did report looking for additional material, some said they had been unsuccessful recently as some producers have been unwilling to sell. "My suppliers are not offering to the market," one trader said.
The producer source confirmed that he had little molybdic oxide to sell at the moment, contributing to an apparent market tightness.
Ferromolybdenum prices also moved up in the past week to between $12.80 and $13.30 per pound from $12.35 to $12.65 previously, with a sale of a truckload quantity reported at $12.80 per pound and a number of smaller deals as high as $13.30 per pound.
Sources said that even with the uptick in ferromolybdenum prices, the spread between molybdic oxide and ferromolybdenum had narrowed considerably, suggesting that either oxide would move down or ferromolybdenum up in the near future as the market regains balance.
"The spread is unusually tight right now," the producer source said.