NEW YORK U.S. ferrosilicon prices have dropped back to February levels as supply continues to improve following a series of large tenders in March.
Ferrosilicon is now in a range of 92 to 94 cents per pound, down from 94 to 96 cents previously, after peaking at 95 to 97 cents per pound in March with reports of Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC tendering up to 2,000 tonnes of material (amm.com, March 22).
"Ferrosilicon is not as tight as it was before. Now that some of those big inquiries from two weeks ago have passed, the euphoria has also passed and youll see a lot more material coming in," one trader said. "You could go pick up 100 tonnes at 92 to 93 cents per pound now, no problem."
A consumer source confirmed that his company is currently seeking proposals for several thousands tons of 75-percent ferrosilicon, with offers closing in the coming week. "Were looking for a longer-term arrangement for a significant portion (but not all) of our combined requirements for our steel mills," he told AMM via e-mail.
Meanwhile, market participants said that U.S. supply is unlikely to be impacted by FerroAtlántica Group SAs announcement that it has stopped all silicon production at its facilities in South Africa for April and May (amm.com, April 2).
"Its only two months, its only a small amount of material out of the market, and theyve already positioned themselves so that it wont have much of an impact," a second trader said, noting that more ferrosilicon production is set to come online in Ukraine.
"Its a good way to talk up your book, but youve got enough other sources of ferrosilicon to cover that," the first trader said. "Only if you have Thyssen(Krupp AG), Nucor (Corp.) and Arcelor(Mittal USA LLC) suddenly come out for 1,500 tonnes each next month (would) you see a similar type of shortage."