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Ryan’s Notes
Page 2
March 6, 2015

Euro manganese alloys see competition

There were reports this week of potential weakness for prices of manganese alloys in Europe, as mills began to conclude business across a wider range. Sources noted some renewed competition following limited price appreciation. Pending confirmation, there could be some adjustment for high-carbon ferromanganese and silicomanganese in Europe in the near term.

Overall, the European market has been generally sporadic throughout Q1. While the first weeks of January were more active, business fizzled out for much of the quarter. With mills now looking at their Q2 requirements, the market could see some renewed business as some sellers look eager to pen deals in the tepid market. Current deals under review could suggest a week on week drop for a number of alloys by as much as 3%.

In the US, markets were still very weak, with little to no sizable spot business reported across major mills. Sources indicated a large drawback in spot purchases, as well as delayed shipments to numerous buyers. A potential slowdown was hard for some market participants to admit just over a month ago, but each week, more and more sources were acknowledging a lull in business. Participants remarked, however, that much of the slowdown was still isolated among tubular mills that feed demand within the domestic oil and gas markets, which were still feeling the negative effects of depressed oil prices.

The price for US silicomanganese was unmoved over the past week, despite strain from both ends of the CRU Ryan's Notes' range. While initially many were calling for a drawdown in SiMn prices due to currency values and a prolonged premium in US market, but the recent petition for antidumping investigation of Australian SiMn has largely lent some stability to the price. Numerous sources felt that prices would thus hold flat for the time being. If the case moves forward, which many sources expect it to do so, a preliminary determination could be announced just after mid-2015. Any such ruling will provide additional clarity with regard to the direction of pricing through the end of the year.