NEW YORK Spot ferroalloy
trading continues to be scant as long-term contracts cover the
majority of business, with one trader claiming that the market
has entered an early summer slowdown.
High-carbon ferrochrome dropped
to a range of 99 cents to $1.02 per pound from $1 to $1.03
previously, with transactions confirmed at below $1 per pound.
Ferrosilicon also dropped and is now trading in a range of 91
to 93 cents per pound, down from 92 to 94 cents.
Most traders contacted by
AMM said that few spot inquiries, let alone purchases,
were being made by consumers.
"Were all a bit worried
already. Theres been no steady business for almost five
weeks," one trader said.
A second trader said that few
customers are compelled to enter the spot market as even
contracted material exceeds their requirements. "The summer
slowdown has come a little bit early," he said. "I think until
September it will be slow and tough. Whatever business is out
there everyone will jump on, so I can foresee prices coming
down a lot more."
However, one molybdenum producer
source told AMM that the slow spot activity isnt
indicative of intrinsic market weakness, and things might
actually pick up this summer. "Though theres a dearth of
spot activity, we dont have a lack of strength in the
market. At least three of our customers are doing rather well,"
he said. "Even though its now early May, I dont
think its correct to say the third quarter will
definitely be slower."
One ferrosilicon trader also
forecast a possible improvement in spot trading activity
mid-year. "We dont expect to see more inquiries over the
next six weeks before mid-June, at which time some of the
medium-sized consumers who are not tied to full-year contracts
will come out for third-quarter material," he said.