NEW YORK Ferrochrome
prices remained steady this past week, but with an uncertain
demand outlook traders are divided on whether the market is
poised for price increases or further drops.
continued to trade in a range of 99 cents to $1.02 per pound,
while 0.10-percent-carbon ferrochrome was steady in a range of
$1.96 to $2.02 per pound.
Market participants presented
varied outlooks on demand for ferrochrome in the coming
"Ive done a lot of cold
calls over the past week to maybe 120 foundries, and every
single one has said business is extremely slow," one trader
said. "There seems to be a disconnect between whats
happening in the wider economy and ferroalloys. Where are all
the orders? Not everything can be on contract."
A second trader disagreed.
"Demand for low-carbon (material) is quite good. My deliveries
year on year are up quite significantly over the past few
months, though Im not sure as to why," he said. "There
are very few spot inquiries, but customers are taking what we
expect them to take and theyre meeting forecasts.
Im visiting all the major stainless mills and Id
say generally theyre at 80 to 85 percent of capacity. The
problem here is that construction needs to come back to get
them into (the) 90s."