Some producers have been switching more of their intake of smelting feed to make alloy, using higher quality vacuum scrap, after turnings prices jumped by almost 65% since the start of the year.
Turnings scrap has been in short supply this year due to a slump in the aerospace sector, which has been affected by the loss of travel amid restrictions to limit the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Titanium scrap is produced across the aerospace supply chain, such as in super-alloy production, and aircraft and defense manufacturing.
The fall in end-user consumption for titanium contained in steel products happened after heavy industry imposed measures to enable social distancing at factories, meaning steelmakers needed less feedstock.
This squeezed margins for ferro-titanium producers who were struggling to manage higher input costs against downward pressure on their output prices.
Consequently, steel mills are bargaining hard to resist higher prices for ferro-titanium, and...