Ryan’s Notes
March 17, 2014

US FeSi prices dip despite dumping probe 

A US-mill booked a sizeable portion of its anticipated requirements for ferrosilicon over the last week, pushing down the range for the bulk alloy to 95-98C per Ib, ex-warehouse. An additional mill booked 200 tons at 97-98C delivered. Based on logistics for the facility, the ex-warehouse price was nearest to 95C per Ib, or slightly beneath the new low.

There was little consensus among market participants over the near-term direction of the market. For several weeks, there was talk that numbers would drop to 94-95C per lb, but others continued to express expectations that the immediate availability of material was limited and the current ongoing antidumping case on Russian and Venezuelan ferrosilicon would push prices higher. A limited number of agents and producers have consistently booked at higher prices, but additional influence on ferrosilicon prices has recently come from the trade.

Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce noted that FerroVen requested on January 14 that, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination in the investigations, the final determination would be postponed by 60 days. The delay was honored and is expected to last no later than 135 days following the notice's publication in the US Federal Register. The International Trade Commission was thus requested to also submit its request no later than 45 days after the Commerce Department's final determination. Others in the market noted that the US domestic producers requested the delay. There were also reports that domestic producers were urging the Department to take a closer look into documents and figures reported on behalf of at least one foreign producer before making its final determination. 

While the trade case slowly progresses to its final determination, buyers and sellers were also anticipating a decision in regard to another domestic mill's RFQ for ferrosilicon, which officially closed on March 14. With the recent lower FeSi sale booked and another deal to be awarded in the coming days, several were expecting additional clarity on the near-term pricing trend.