NEW YORK Silicomanganese trading activity has picked up but prices have trended down marginally, confusing traders who believe that impending supply constraints should be supporting prices.
Major tonnage transactions took place in a range of 52 to 53 cents per pound, with smaller volumes slightly outside that range. Silicomanganese previously was trading in a range of 53 to 57 cents per pound, with major tonnages transacting more toward the lower end of the range.
Market participants couldnt explain why prices appear to have dropped, having previously forecast that prices would rise in light of Felman Production LLCs decision to idle one of its furnaces (amm.com, May 24).
However, one trader claimed that some market participants were selling well below the rest of the market in order to lower published prices. "Thats been concerning to a number of us, because where are they getting the material from? They definitely booked it very low," he said.
Much attention has been focused on the outcome of Nucor Corp.s silicomanganese tenders, with the companys Darlington, S.C., plant reported to have concluded its tender while the Marion, Ohio, plant has yet to announce. "The last time I checked on Marion, they were still out," a second trader said.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker was said to have been in the market for up to 3,300 tons of silicomanganese for the third quarter, with the outcome of the tender taking longer than most suppliers anticipated (amm.com, June 7).