NEW YORK A tightness in
ferrosilicon supply has led spot prices to increase 1 percent,
market participants told AMM.
Prices are now in a range of 95
to 97 cents per pound compared with 94 to 96 cents previously,
with Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC reportedly paying within the
new range for second-quarter tonnages in a recent tender.
had to retender twice before they could get second-quarter
material," one trader said, adding that the tender was for
about 2,000 tonnes.
"Ferrosilicon is finally
livening up. Its really, really tight."
The shortness of material is
occurring at the same time as the stainless mill is ramping up
its melt shop (
amm.com, Dec. 10).
"I think the (Outokumpu) mill
has sucked a lot of material out of the market," a producer
Outokumpu declined to
pricesup from 85 to 90 cents per pound at the start of
the yearand tight supply have led domestic producers to
look at the commodity-grade market with greater interest (
amm.com, March 22).
Low prices toward the end of
2012 sparked the tightness, which sources said prevented
traders from bringing material in from China, traditionally a
large supplier to the domestic market.
Confusion over a possible
reduction in the Chinese export tax on the product also crimped
"Everybody was afraid to buy
material until the situation became clear that it wasnt
the case," the trader said.
U.S. imports of ferrosilicon
from China totaled only 328 tonnes in January vs. a monthly
average of 3,131 tonnes during 2012, according to the latest
figures from the Commerce Department and U.S. International
Trade Commission (ITC).
While some sources said prices
above $1 per pound, last seen in early October 2011, were
possible in the near term, others were more skeptical due to
tepid steel production numbers so far this year.
"I dont think were
going to go over a dollar because the consumption is just not
there. (The first quarter) didnt come through," a second
producer source said, adding that imports from European
producers also might start increasing due to rising domestic