HomeGAA in the MediaPress ReleasesNewsFerrovanadium, silicomanganese prices fall

 

AMM
May 25, 2015
By Daniel Fitzgerald

Ferrovanadium, silicomanganese prices fall

NEW YORK—Expected increases in ferrovanadium spot pricing have failed to materialize so far, while the majority of bulk and noble alloy suppliers are now seeing the market slide into a summer slowdown.

 

Ferrovanadium dropped to a range of $9.50 to $10.10 per pound from $9.90 to $10.20 previously despite European prices logging further gains May 22 to a range of $22 to $24 per kilogram ($10 to $10.90 per pound), according to AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

However, suppliers remain optimistic that U.S. pricing will be lifted soon by gains in European pricing as well as supply uncertainty related to Evraz Highveld Steel & Vanadium Ltd.'s business rescue (amm.com, May 21).

"I think you'll see a significant impact from Highveld. It's not here yet because demand is pretty lackluster. If this had happened last year, we'd already be at $15 per pound," one supplier source said. "There are still volumes within the trade, which is unusual for this market, so you'll see a bit of profit-taking. But demand is definitely improving."

"Things are improving," a second supplier source said. "We should be back on plan this month, which has shown a huge improvement over the last two months. A lot of the steel guys I talk to see that continuing into the second half of the year."

Meanwhile, silicomanganese dropped to a range of 50 to 52 cents per pound from 51 to 53 cents previously, with market participants focused primarily on the outcome of Letart, W.Va.-based Felman Production LLC's trade case against imports from Australia, even though a preliminary determination is not due until July 29 (amm.com, April 3).

"I've heard some people say it's as low as 45 cents per pound, but I don't believe that," a third supplier source said. "Maybe the trade can buy in the upper 40s, but then they sell it to consumers in the low 50s. We have fixed contracts in the mid-50s, so we're happy, because the price is definitely more 50 cents than 55 cents now."

"The demand side is still fairly lackluster," the first supplier source said. "I don't think we'll see any improvement before summer."

Ferrosilicon was unchanged in a range of 88 to 92 cents per pound, although market participants said that sentiment was largely firming toward the lower end of the range.

Overall, market participants said that spot business activity remains slow across most commodities—with a series of requests for quotations not due for a few weeks—but contract offtake has improved markedly compared with the first quarter.