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Ryan’s Notes
June 13, 2014

US SiMn price drops, EU holds

Prices for silicomanganese dropped this past week in the US from 59.5-61₵ per lb, ex-warehouse, to 58.5₵ per lb as the low, and then further to 57-61₵ per lb. Initial drops were brought on as a large US-based steel producer began to close on its requirements for a multitude of mills. The additional softening was noted from another US steel producer, closing on many hundred tons of material.  The second buyer also reported even lower figures from a steel producer-owned trading company. While several producers and principal importers quoted in the low 60₵ range for many sites, ultimately lower prices prevailed in the various concluded deals this past week.

Many market participants were expecting prices to drop slightly through the summer months but reported no strong cause for any wide swing as a result of steady demand down-stream in the steel sector.

As many were still waiting on news of a possible restart at Felman Production in West Virginia, some questioned what effects to price the additional volumes would bring about. One analyst noted, “I think the restart will be well orchestrated on Felman’s part; they know what they are doing.”

In the European market, silicomanganese was holding steady at 810-860€ per mt, DDP.  In the past week, there was a limited number of deals reported to CRU Ryan’s Notes. A large volume was completed just below the current high of the index, while additional volumes were anticipated to be sold before the week’s end, although no price had yet to be reported.

In general, several market participants reported a bullish sentiment following the recent widening of prices due to lower concluded sales previously reported in the region. At least one producer, however, was reported to be extremely tight on material heading toward the start of the third quarter. Overall, sales volumes were anticipated to remain fairly robust heading into the summer months, despite the traditionally slower period.