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American Metal Market
AMM
April 28, 2014
By Daniel Fitzgerald

US ferromanganese spot prices increase

New York - Spot prices for medium-carbon ferromanganese have risen, with market participants optimistic that the return of Felman Production LLC won’t affect silicomanganese pricing.

AMM's medium-carbon ferromanganese price rose to 95 to 96 cents per pound from 93 to 95 cents previously. Market participants had expected prices to move higher (amm.com, April 18).

Meanwhile, silicomanganese spot prices were unchanged at 59 to 61 cents per pound, although one sale was reported as high as 64 cents per pound.

"It seems like things are picking up a little bit. Some consumers have been cautious not to over purchase, but overall I get the feeling that things are firming up," one trader said.

Many suppliers also reiterated their belief that the likely impending return of Felman to the spot market (amm.co, April 18) would not drag spot pricing down.

"There's no reason why Felman would let that happen. It defeats the purpose of what they've been trying to achieve for the last year. ... My main concern is that it might lead to some panic-selling by people that bought material out of speculation," a second trader said.

"When (Felman) starts producing, they can just stop the flow of overseas material they brought in to service their contracts, so I don't see them as the stop in the market," the first trader said. "They've got the market share they want and they have a lot of contracts on formula, so they don't have any interest in bringing the market price down."

Felman idled its New Haven, W.Va., smelter in June 2013, saying that it would be unable to service "shipments in excess of contractual commitments" (amm.com, June 28). The Letart, W. Va.-based company is targeting a restart of operations following a successful request for a special electricity rate tied to the free-market price of silicomanganese (amm.com, April 4).