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American Metal Market

By Daniel Fitzgerald

July 23, 2013

Ferrosilicon ‘floor’ seen likely after filing

NEW YORK - U.S. imports of Russian and Venezuelan ferrosilicon will likely fall following the filing of an anti-dumping petition seeking duties against the product, creating a "floor" for domestic pricing, market participants said.

Russian and Venezuelan ferrosilicon is allegedly being sold in the United States at less than fair value, according to the July 19 petition filed with the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission (amm.com, July 19). The petition was filed by CC Metals & Alloys LLC and Globe Specialty Metals Inc., and targets Russian and Venezuelan ferrosilicon imports handled by Allegheny Alloys Trading LP, CCMA LLC, Ferroatlantica North America Inc. and Russian Ferroalloys Inc.

Amherst, N.Y.-based trading house CCMA is separate from Calvert City, Ky.-based CC Metals & Alloys.

Sources at Allegheny Alloys and CCMA told AMM that they only import small amounts of Russian ferrosilicon infrequently and won't be greatly affected by the case, while a source at Russian Ferroalloys, Mishawaka, Ind., confirmed that his company is "in the process of reviewing" the case.

A source at Ferroatlantica North America, Medina, Ohio, described the news as "shocking," adding that his company would look to contest the case and "head it off."

Ferrosilicon is currently trading in a range of 88 to 90 cents per pound, off from $1.03 to $1.07 per pound in early July 2011.

"I think it's just a play to have the market bottom out. ... This should stabilize the market and push prices up because importers would think twice about bringing material in if there are du ties," one ferrosilicon trader said.

"The ultimate goal is that the Russians will think twice before sending material (to the United States). If they reduce the amount coming into the country, that should in turn put a bottom on ferrosilicon prices," a second trader said.

However, the second trader expressed doubt that prices would increase substantially, noting that it might make ferrosilicon imports from other countries more competitive. "The consumers out there may oppose this, but they won't be impacted by it because prices are still at three-year lows. The Chinese stuff may become more competitive and other sources will come into the country, maybe from Norway or Egypt. So I don't foresee a 10- or 20-cent increase."

The petition alleges that dumping margins on Russian material range from 21.85 to 60.77 percent and those for Venezuelan material at 20.07 to 60.11 percent, and that the U.S. ferrosilicon industry is suffering material injury as a result of the alleged dumping.

New York-based Globe Specialty Metals has ferrosilicon production facilities in Bridgeport, Ala., and Beverly, Ohio, while CC Metals & Alloys produces ferrosilicon at its plant in Calvert City. 

The petition notes that Globe Specialty Metals could also produce ferrosilicon at its plants in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Selma, Ala., by converting furnaces currently being used to produce silicon metal to ferrosilicon.