Ryan’s Notes
May 30, 2014

Mn alloys hold week-on-week

Prices for manganese alloys held flat this week after some adjustment in late May, particularly in Europe for high-carbon ferromanganese when prices moved to €730-760 per mt, DDP. There was limited activity across both regions, however, as mills were well stocked and approaching contract negotiations for the second half of the year, just one week away for some mills.

While in Europe, initial reports indicated that some mills may have been looking to move up their contract negotiations due to unrest in Ukraine. This did not appear to be substantiated, according to suppliers gathered at the annual International Manganese Institute (IMnl) in Cape Town, South Africa, over the past week.

In Silicomanganese, prices were holding level in the US as a limited number of deals closed on formula agreement vs. fixed price. One deal closed at the CRU Ryan's Notes' low just over one week ago, but one large steel producer had issued its tender for the second half of 2014. It was reported to CRU Ryan's Notes that each mill location could perhaps choose to close on its requirements for the entire second half of 2014, or just for the third quarter. An additional small lot was pending to another buyer as of Friday.

Meanwhile, questions remained with regard to the restart of Felman Production furnaces in West Virginia and the effect on pricing moving forward. While no agreement appeared to have been made as of last week, most sources within the US market noted that prices could fall through the summer months, but marginally. No deep discounts were anticipated as mills approach the coming season.

In Europe, prices were relatively balanced for silicomanganese at €830-860 per mt, DDP. There is an anticipation that prices could drop, just slightly, in the near future, as the majority of recent spot sales appear consolidated at the low-to-mid-point of the current CRU Ryan's Notes' range.

High-carbon ferromanganese prices in both the US and Europe showed the highest potential for softening, as sources noted continuing weakening of ore prices. Spot activity was still muffled over the past week. One spot transaction for medium-carbon ferromanganese closed at the current low of the CRU Ryan's Notes' low. The deal was more than 100 tons.