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Silicomanganese market awaits bid

Keywords: Tags  silicomanganese prices, Nucor, Nucor tender, silicomanganese market, ferrosilicon, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Silicomanganese market participants are waiting on the outcome of a high-tonnage Nucor Corp. tender, with some sources saying that it could determine the future direction of the spot market.

Silicomanganese prices were steady in a range of 52 to 56 cents per pound Feb. 21, although most attention is focused on the Nucor “request for quote” and the potential impact of the winning bid.

“I think silicomanganese will move with the Nucor bid. That will give a good sense as to what is going on in this market,” one trader said. “Other mills are staying out of the market to see how it goes.”

“It will be interesting to see what Nucor gets,” one consumer source said, “because that’s huge tonnage. They’re buying for the balance of the year.”

The trader estimated that a substantial amount of Nucor’s annual spot requirement for silicomanganese would be covered with the tender though exact volumes were unconfirmed.

Several traders told AMM that the tender was scheduled to close Feb. 22.

“Nucor has to reach a decision by committee, so it may take a while,” a second trader said.

Nucor could not be reached for comment.

Traders told AMM earlier this month that silicomanganese was “undervalued,” with the material failing to record the same price gains experienced by ferrosilicon since the start of 2013.

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