Metal Bulletin’s price quotation
for domestic Chinese ferro-silicon
rose to 5,600-5,800
yuan ($811-840) per tonne in warehouse China, up from
5,200-5,300 yuan per tonne on March 10.
Metal Bulletin’s quotation for
ferro-silicon exported from China
rose to $1,100-1,170 per
tonne fob China, having previously held at $1,000-1,070 per
tonne for two weeks.
The ferro-silicon futures price on Zhengzhou
Commodity Exchange rose
throughout the week and reached its
highest level since August 2014 on Friday.
Major smelters in China had not offered during the week to
March 10 and only returned to the market on Thursday March 16,
with higher offers.
One large ferro-silicon producer raised its offer by as much as
20% from two weeks ago.
Smaller smelters followed, leaving most offers in the
5,800-6,000 yuan per tonne range, but no concluded deals were
reported to Metal Bulletin.
Sources in China noted the lack of actual transactions but
added that the domestic operating rate is low, capping producer
"Smelters lifted their offers yesterday. The rise is larger
than we expected and while no fresh deals can be heard for the
time being, the price will definitely move up," a trader in
Beijing told Metal Bulletin.
A trader in Ningxia said he was not prepared to buy at
today’s offer levels.
"The smelters’ offers are too high; I
don’t have any intention of buying, I am just
waiting to see how mills will response to this," the Ningxia
Most mills have completed purchasing for March and may start to
buy volumes for April within the next week or so, sources told
Competitive supplier offers in USA
In the USA, the exact opposite occurred, as suppliers offered
more competitively to place volumes amid second quarter
Spot ferro-silicon prices
slipped to 77-80
cents per lb in warehouse Pittsburgh on March 16, according to
Metal Bulletin sister publication AMM’s
The price was down slightly on the low end from 78-80 cents per
While spot market activity has been lacklustre, mills and
suppliers have been engaged in second-quarter negotiations for
"Prices have been getting a little more competitive as we close
in on the second quarter," a supplier source said.
"People get nervous that if they don’t move
[stock] before the second quarter, they are going to be stuck
with the material," the source added.
Cheaper material has been bound for the USA in recent weeks
while overseas prices were weakening. This has gradually pushed
US prices down from highs of 80-84 cents per lb earlier in the
"There was a buying opportunity where prices came off in Asia,
where material in China and Malaysia was available for
attractive enough prices for traders to bring over material," a
second supplier source said.
"Prices have bumped back up out of China, and it has sealed off
some of the buying opportunities that had emerged for traders,"
the source added.
Other US supplier sources pointed out that recent price
increases overseas have begun to close off the cheaper avenues
for replacement material, as overseas producers target regions
where prices are higher.
"Ferro-silicon is seeing signs of life both around the world
and here," a third US supplier source said, noting stronger
"Brazilian and Malaysian ferro-silicon will be now heading to
Europe, not the USA, until prices here become more attractive,"
the source added.
As a result, market participants are anticipating an end to
downward pricing pressure in the USA.
"I think that there is still some cheap material in the market,
but limited quantities," a fourth supplier source told AMM.
"The fact prices are going back up overseas should keep this
market from falling out too much further," the source said.
European prices flat
European ferro-silicon prices
March 17 held for the third consecutive week at
€1,120-1,200 ($1,202-1,288) per tonne, delivered, amid
Consumers have been able to secure deals towards the low end of
the trading range and even below, offsetting efforts by traders
to push prices higher, one trader in Europe told Metal
"We see an uptrend in traders’ pricing but on the
customer side prices are still low. I hope to see the European
market influenced by the Chinese market," the trader said.