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Ryan’s Notes
May 16, 2014

 Felman talks dominate US market

The potential restart of Felman Production's silicomanganese smelter remained the topic of discussion across the US bulk ferroalloys market over the past week. Late last week, the Public service Commission of West Virginia confirmed its ruling on the special utility agreement for Felman Production after multiple objections. The agreement would tie Felman's electrical rate to the free market price for silicomanganese produced at the New Haven, West Virginia smelter. The producer was still awaiting the signing of a contract with Appalachian Power Company in order to restart its furnaces. As of last week, no firm start-up date was available from Felman pending its final agreement.

While opinions varied over the potential impact that the West Virginia facility would have on silicomanganese market prices, the spot market was still quiet over the past week. One mill was out with an RFQ for a large spot purchase, but otherwise, business was localized to small lots. For the time being, most consumers were reported to be well stocked in anticipation of supply agreements for the second half of 2014. Another steel producer was anticipated to close in the coming weeks on multiple mills, but there was no word when the sales would progress and close.

Additional mills were looking to open RFQs for high-carbon ferromanganese for varying volumes, but mostly mid-size deals. Otherwise, activity was limited severely in the spot market, as buyers were sitting well with volumes and contracts were otherwise satisfying intake needs. After a rally in prices for medium-carbon mid- and late last month, the spot market was not active over the past week.