NEW YORK Silicomanganese reportedly is "in the doldrums" and "undervalued," with traders saying that the material has failed to record the same price gains seen by ferrosilicon since the start of 2013.
Silicomanganese continued to trade in a range of 52 to 56 cents per pound Feb. 14 , while ferrosilicon held at between 92 and 95 cents per pound.
However, while silicomanganese has fallen from a pre-Thanksgiving range of 58 to 60 cents per pound, ferrosilicon has increased from a range of 87 to 90 cents before the November holiday.
"Silicomanganese is clearly undervalued in the low 50s compared to where ferrosilicon is," one trader said.
Traders told AMM that ferrosilicon prices firmed this past week, particularly with a reported lack of cheaper imports entering the market.
"A lot of Chinese material didnt come in because its not competitive. Theyve not really been talking because of the Chinese New Year (holiday), though," a second trader said.
The first trader said silicomanganeses relative pricing weakness was contributing to a lack of imports from Europe, with the euro currently equivalent to about $1.34. "If you compare to the European transacted prices today and multiply that by the exchange rate, you come to a price of about 57 cents. Unless the U.S. can get up to that level, its all going to stay in Europe," he said.
Meanwhile, two silicomanganese traders told AMM of a request for quote for around 500 tonnes from a major electric-arc furnace steel mill, although it was not confirmed first-hand.
"Silicomanganese is still in the doldrums, but there are some major (requests for quotes) out there," a third trader said.