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Ferroalloy price rebound unlikely before June

Keywords: Tags  ferroalloys, prices, ferrochrome, ferromanganese, ferrosilicon, ferrovanadium, Charter Steel, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Spot ferroalloy prices have remained unchanged amid a continuing dearth of purchasing activity, with traders saying that it will probably be another month before third-quarter inquiries begin.

High-carbon ferrochrome was steady this past week in a range of 99 cents to $1.02 per pound, while ferrosilicon was also unchanged in a range of 91 to 93 cents per pound. Ferrovanadium continues to trade in a range of $13 to $14 per pound.

The ferromanganese market is waiting on the outcome of a request for quote from Charter Steel for 200 tonnes of medium-carbon material delivered to the company’s Cleveland plant. A source with the company said a decision would probably be made May 10.

Traders told AMM that spot market activity is unlikely to pick up until June. “The next four weeks should be fairly anemic,” one trader said.

“It’s a bit early for the third quarter to be talked about,” a second trader added. “Everyone’s going to wait and see how order books shape up before they look to (fill) their requirements.”

The same trader reiterated the widespread belief that spot trading is slight because long-term contracts are covering most consumers’ production requirements.

“I don’t think it’s a question of market weakness. I think it’s simply a fact that when people went out for the second quarter, they booked the right quantities based on their requirements,” he said.

“Steel production has been flat since the beginning of the year and hasn’t moved beyond that, so I don’t think we’ll see any pickup until that changes,” he added. “But there are guys out there that buy on fixed quantities rather than a fixed time period, so when they run out, it could be in the middle of the quarter.”

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