NEW YORK U.S. ferrosilicon prices have risen as traders capitalize on supply concerns following the start of an anti-dumping investigation into imports from Russia and Venezuela.
Ferrosilicon moved up to a range of 91 to 93 cents per pound from 88 to 90 cents previously.
The Commerce Department announced earlier this month that it would initiate an investigation into imports of ferrosilicon from Russia and Venezuela, with the International Trade Commission (ITC) scheduled to make preliminary injury determinations by Sept. 3 (amm.com, Aug. 9 ). If the investigation continues, Commerce would make preliminary determinations in December and final determinations in March 2014.
But ferrosilicon traders have already succeeded in pushing prices higher in the free market, with replacement costs expected to climb as material is imported from less-price-competitive regions.
"The simple reason (for increasing prices) is because of the anti-dumping case," one trader said. "I think its a fait accompli that the case will continue, so Im pushing up my numbers. Once we get past the September decision (by the ITC), Chinese and Egyptian and Norwegian material will have to come in."
"There is concern about future supply," a second trader said.
Several traders said that the trade case would prompt importers of Russian and Venezuelan material to limit their selling into the domestic spot market.
However, a source at one of the companies targeted in the trade case said that his company had not altered its approach to the market. "The final decision is a ways off," he said. "Its business as usual in the interim; for all of our regular customers we continue to bring material in."
Nevertheless, if the investigation continues it could affect late-2013 contract negotiations for 2014 shipments, market participants said.
"Even if they win the case in the end, (importers) may lose valuable time," the second trader said.