HomeGAA in the MediaNewsArchiveGeorgian SiMn strike continues


Ryan’s Notes
March 10, 2014

Georgian SiMn strike continues 

Labor strikes in Georgia have reportedly crippled Privat's Georgian Manganese silicomanganese plant, Zestafoni. Workers, and many other trade groups across the country, were demanding better pay and improved working conditions. In 2013, Georgian exports of silicomanganese to the US totaled 105,600 mt, representing nearly one third of total US imports, with Georgia also being the single largest exporter to US buyers.

Given Georgia's importance as a major source of SiMn, any extended, wide-spread labor dispute could threaten prices to US consumers. Such a scenario, however, was unlikely. Workers were reportedly in negotiations with administrators and local ministers to bring a swift end to the standoff. They reported that the strike would continue, however, until their demands were met. According to local media sources, mine workers were calling for a 25% increase in salaries.

For US buyers, prices for silicomanganese held level week-on-week at 59-61 cents per lb, ex-warehouse or producing plant. A limited number of large deals was concluded in the current CRU Ryan's Notes' index range. There was no indication that prices would rise further; most suppliers were awaiting requests for the second quarter. Sentiment was generally optimistic that there would not be any large swing in prices in either direction, and demand was anticipated to remain consistent with recent business. Despite limited transactions over the past week, there were verbal inquiries fielded across the US market for one large buyer. 

In Europe, buyers saw steady prices for silicomanganese at €800-830 per mt, ex-warehouse or producing plant. With the US market holding a premium over European buyers, many felt that prices would rise in the near term as consumption improves, but there was no expectation or business to suggest such actions would take place in the next week or two.