NEW YORK Ferrosilicon prices have risen as producers chase higher quotes amid reports of tight supply, with ferromanganese tags tipped to rise as traders look to rebuild stocks.
Ferrosilicon has risen to 92 to 95 cents per pound from 90 to 92 cents, with one source describing the market as "a producer ballgame."
"The Russians are trying to sell under the Chinese. ... The Chinese (are) going for 93 to 94 (cents); even Egyptian ferrosilicon is going for 94 (cents). So there seems to be a move up," one trader said.
"We see some strengthening in ferrosilicon," a second trader agreed. "I think its fairly tight in the marketplace."
Meanwhile, low-carbon ferrochrome prices moved to $2.23 to $2.26 per pound from $2.23 to $2.25, while high-carbon material was unchanged at $1 to $1.04 per pound.
"There are still some low sellers on low-carbon (ferrochrome) out there, though apparently theres a bit of a shortage of 0.05-percent out there. I expect it will be drying up in the next two weeks. ... There seems to be upward pressure on high carbon. Youre paying over $1 now for DLA material," a third trader said.
Ferromanganese producers expect prices to move up soon, they said, although Jan. 31 transactions for low-carbon metal were steady in a range of 97 cents to $1.02 per pound.
"Shortages are developing, especially with low-carbon (product). Ive informed customers that after this month, it will be $1.05 or I wont sell," one producer said. "The balance is coming back in suppliers favor. A lot of traders are looking for tonnage, so I expect the price will continue to rise."
The majority of market players told AMM that business was still slow.
"Weve had one inquiry all week. Everybody bought what they wanted in December, and in January theyre covered," a fourth trader said.
"The guys who are more auto-based are doing quite well," a fifth trader said. "Other guys more reliant on the energy sector, its more of a mixed bag."