YORK Silicomanganese spot prices have ticked up and may
continue to strengthen over the course of 2013, traders say, as
steelmaker Nucor Corp. has finalized its "request for
prices moved up to a range of 53 to 57 cents per pound from 52
to 56 cents.
Market sources told AMM
that Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor booked business in a wide
range from 52 cents per pound for "bottom barge" material in
the South to as high as 62 cents per pound, although one trader
said this was for deliveries comprising "a fair amount of
"There was an enormous spread
depending on where the delivery was," he said.
The same trader said Nucor opted
to book material for four of its mills for only the next two
quarters rather than through the end of 2013, as it did for the
remainder of the mills covered by the request for quote.
"(Those mills are) still banking
that some of the higher prices they see now are going to come
off," he said. "But all of the other mills booked through the
end of the year, which indicates there is still an expectation
that prices are going to firm up."
One consumer source said that
each Nucor mill covered in the request for quote "was able to
choose if they wanted to participate and for how long, from one
quarter through to the balance of the year."
Several traders said that with
the majority of volume believed to have traded at a higher rate
than previously published prices, silicomanganese prices were
likely to rise further in 2013.
"To me, Nucor has always been a
good indicator of demand. To see them react in the way they
didtaking higher prices for the long termis a clear
indication that they expect prices will move up," the first
trader said. "It indicates that those 52-cent-per-pound numbers
arent about anymore, and thats in line
with everyones expectations as well. I dont think
it will go far beyond the low-60s level, and will settle in the
mid- to high 50s."
Nucor representatives could not
be reached for comment.
"I would imagine well see
silicomanganese prices go on the rise in the U.S.," a second
trader said, adding that "nobody is going to ship to the U.S.
as long as pricing is depressed, and theres a shortage