CHICAGO U.S. magnesium
prices have held steady, due in large part to a thin spot
market, sources said.
prices remain unchanged at $2 to $2.25 per pound.
One producer source said his
company recently booked a truckload of spot business at $2.22
per pound, but estimated that more than 95 percent of magnesium
business in the United States is booked on long-term
Still, just because the spot
market is slow doesnt mean that business is dead, the
producer source said, noting that his company saw an increase
in the amount of metal booked on contract in 2013.
Automotive-related demand is also solid, he said.
"Automotive was so strong in
2012 that we just expected it wouldnt continue," he said.
"But contrary to our expectations, it has kept pace."
The magnesium market "could
always be better, but shipments seem to be fine," one consumer
said. "Prices have been very stable ... and supply seems to be
able to fulfill demand."
He and others agreed that $2 to
$2.25 per pound was likely representative of the market, but
acknowledged that his company wasnt in the spot market,
having booked most business via annual contracts.
"Most of the people who are
important consumers have already placed their business," one
source said. "There is some spot business once in a while, but
its very small."