Silicomanganese sellers say they have booked 2014 contracts
with dramatically improved formula discounts, although those
for medium-carbon ferromanganese contracts reportedly have yet
to see a similar trend.
silicomanganese contracts are said to have been booked at 53 to
54 cents per pound, with offers upward of 56 cents per pound
Formula contracts were
reportedly booked with significantly smaller discounts compared
with 2013 contracts, with one supplier claiming that his
company booked contracts with no discount at all.
"We saw a substantial
improvement. ... The consolidation of supply and trade flow
into the country seems to have given more discipline to the
pricing structure," he said.
substantially lower than last year," a second seller said.
However, one consumer
said that his company had booked contracts with discounts of 4
to 5 percent, comparable to levels seen in 2013 contracts.
medium-carbon ferromanganese contracts have yet to see a
similar reduction in discounts, although one major consumer
reportedly hasny yet finalized its buys.
"On refined manganese,
we were expecting to end up with a bigger improvement (in
discounts) than we did. ... Some stayed flat, some discounts
narrowed marginally. The order of improvement was about 1 to 2
percent on the discount structure," the first seller said.
"The major difference
between silicomanganese and medium-carbon (material) is that
with silicomanganese you do not have a domestic producer that
will put material into everybodys hands, come what may,"
the second seller said.
Indeed, the U.S.
silicomanganese market has been impacted by the idling of
Felman Production LLC, Letart, W.Va., with the company
currently petitioning the West Virginia Public Service
Commission for a special electricity rate that will allow it to
restart production (
amm.com, Nov. 22).
Some sources claimed
that the relative stasis in medium-carbon contract discounts
was due to aggressive quoting from one party trying to gain a
greater market share.
However, a source from
the company rejected the notion that his company had sacrificed
pricing for volume.
"One of our biggest
customers accepted a lower discount on medium-carbon without
even questioning it, but we were not successful everywhere with
the lower discount and we did not book the business. We walked
away, as we were not going to accept anything less favorable
than that," he said.
Sources indicated that
negotiations with the major consumer could drag into 2014 if
they arent finalized before Christmas.