This is traditionally one of the most liquid of the alloys markets, but a larger proportion of demand is currently being satisfied by long-term contracts, and in consequence spot activity is thinner than it used to be.
Spot prices continue to dictate long-term contract prices, meanwhile, which has been described as “the tail wagging the dog”. And in a falling market, blighted by a dearth of buyers, it may have created something of a vicious circle, in which some sellers try to undercut each other in order to get material out of the door.
In the case of molybdic oxide, furthermore, it has long been established that business continues to move eastwards, and most deals are now concluded in East Asia, and especially South Korea.
The tumbling nickel price on the London Metal Exchange can’t have helped – the alloying metal was back above $11,000 per tonne on Thursday July...