Ryan’s Notes
June 6, 2014

 Mn alloy spot sales simmer

Spot sales of manganese alloys were less common over the past week as market participants awaited the outcome of a number of tenders and RFQs, both in Europe and US. In Europe, spot sales were down a bit last week, and most Germany mills were believed to have closed on their requirements. In the US, one large steel producer was looking to sign supply deals for multiple locations across the country. A decision was anticipated Friday, although sales figures were unavailable at that time.

In the European manganese alloys markets, prices were widening for a number of materials. Imports of high-carbon ferromanganese to European block countries were erasing high prices tags seen earlier last month. The price for high-carbon ferromanganese widened over the past week to €710-760 per mt, DDP. There were some reports that Russian imports were placing additional downward pressure on the European market. While a number of domestic or traditional suppliers were believed to be short on material available to the spot market, buyers were increasingly turning to more competitively priced imports.

In the US, transactions involving high-carbon ferrochrome were limited in number and tonnage. Most mills were reported to be stocked for the time being. Outside of contractual negotiations, spot purchases could likely be well calculated over the next several weeks as mills prepare for the summer season and any scheduled maintenances. Week-on-week, raw steel production climbed 1.1% to 1,895,000 tons in the week ended May 31, 2014. Shipments of alloys among traditional suppliers and producers within the US were anticipated to be holding firm in early June.

One large US-based steel producer closed its RFQ for silicomanganese in the past week. Some preliminary decisions were expected as soon as Friday, although numbers were unavailable as of the early morning. Many market players were hoping for clarity on the direction in price of silicomanganese for the near term, as prices have held flat for many weeks. Others were anxiously awaiting news with regard to the restart of furnaces at Felman Production's silicomanganese plant. Prices were unchanged last week at 59.5-61 cent per lb, ex-warehouse and ex-works.

In the past week, the range for European silicomanganese widened to €810-860 per mt, DDP. As additional buyers and mills have entered the spot market for material, increasing competition has been noted among traditional imports of silicomanganese before entering the summer months. In the past week, prices dipped to €810 per mt, DDP, on the low end of the CRU Ryan's Notes' index. Despite concern over the political situation in Ukraine, there has been no noticeable effect on price, but rather, prices have turned slightly downward. Multiple locations for one consumer had an open tender on Friday. The tender was expected to close on Monday.