Silicomanganese prices have inched up on reportedly higher spot
and first-quarter business, with some sources claiming a
tightening market due to ongoing power issues in South Africa
and continued uncertainty over the future of Felman Production
silicomanganese price increased to 52 to 54 cents per pound
Dec. 5 from 51 to 53 cents previously.
"It seems that the
silicomanganese market is getting very exciting. Other tenders
that have been decided have been (done so) at above current
market prices, and we booked some business ourselves around the
53- to 54-cent-(per-pound) levels for first quarter," one
W.Va.-based Felmans idled plant in New Haven, W.Va., has
had a more immediate impact, South African power issues could
crimp supply in early 2014, sources said.
"The issue with Eskom
(Holdings SOC Ltd.) is more serious than theyve been
telling the market. Theres a buyback program in place and
theyre quietly asking some producers to extend it," the
first trader said.
South African state
power provider Eskom showed a red power alert on its website
Dec. 6, meaning "electricity supply is under severe strain,"and
in late November requested "sustained energy savings" of at
least 10 percent from private and industrial consumers.
"The (power) problems
(in South Africa) continue. You will see more mandatory,
short-term shutdowns (for alloy producers)," a second trader
For the first 10
months of the year, South Africa shipped 52,956 tonnes of
silicomanganese to the United States out of total inflows of
269,643 tonnes, according to Commerce Department figures.
However, one consumer,
who said he completed some 2014 silicomanganese business
recently at a firm number below current market prices,
disagreed that there was a supply crimp.
offered ample tons," he said.