Market prices for silico-manganese delivered on a spot basis went as high as €1,450 ($1,766) per tonne, a level last reached in October 2008, while high-carbon ferro-manganese spot prices hit a similar high mark for the first time since December 2008, when the price range was €1,100-1,500 per tonne.
Traders started trying to replenish their stocks last week after a short holiday period in Europe the week before. But when it became apparent that there were relatively low stock levels, reduced production in Europe and difficulties in sourcing replacement material, short-covering quickly ensued, a trader said.
“A major European steelmaker bought up a large portion of manganese alloys a few weeks ago, cutting prompt availability,” one German trader said.
“Replacement material from outside Europe is costly and difficult [to acquire], given the reduced international production, high sea-freight rates and a shortage of containers,” he added. “Moreover,...