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Market Tendency On Imports Of Ferro-Alloys At 30th January 2009
= Information Of Recovering Domestic Demand For Ferro-Alloys In China Is True ?
The market tendency by item on imports of ferro-alloys into Japan at the 30th January of 2009 is as follows ;

<> General view = While China has entered into Lunar New Year holidays, it was informed many times that domestic demand for ferro-alloys in China is going to recover. The purchases of ferro-alloys so far seen in China were thought as spot contracts and supplements to stocks in advance of Lunar New Year but it is viewed at present that this fever to recover domestic demand for ferro-alloys in China will be possible to expect to continue further. Apart from a positiveness of Chinese exports, it is marked how extent do the public investments of CNY4 trillion by the Central Government of China with an aim to support the economy permeate into the markets and various projects to construct airports, highways, railways, and so on are now being much talked about. These projects will cause to recover prices of relative materials and the activities in China as mentioned above are not negligible.

<> Ferro-silicon = Chinese shippers have risen price of ferro-silicon for export and are now offering ferro-silicon at US$1,200 per metric ton CIF Japan. A symbolic phenomenon, having revived domestic demand for ferro-silicon in China, is that the operations to produce ferro-silicon at plants in Inner Mongolia have been recovering rapidly. Owing to large stocks of ferro-silicon in Japan held by trading companies, the business to export ferro-silicon for Japan has been entirely depressed. Therefore, a high price of ferro-silicon offered from China for export has become nominal but, when a fever to revive domestic demand for ferro-silicon in China continues even after Lunar New Year was over, the movement to rise price of Chinese ferro-silicon is expected to have a reality with regardless of sluggish exports. How to move price of Chinese ferro-silicon, after Lunar New Year was over, will be a test case.

<> Silico-manganese = Shippers are currently offering silico-manganese at US$1,500 - 1,550 per metric ton FOB China and this price level has been normalized, while some offer has indicated a higher price of US$1,600 FOB. Domestic price of silico-manganese in China has risen to CNY8,500 (US$1,250) per metric ton and this price is an evidence for the propriety of an offer for export. In the same case as that of ferro-silicon, many of steel companies in Japan have held back their new purchases of silico-manganese and, accordingly, actual cargoes are still slow to move. Japanese electric furnace mills have still stocked the cargoes delivered in October - December quarter of 2008 and, therefore, will be only able to purchase newly the quantities to be consumed in 1 - 2 months. At present, being stimulated by the high price prevailing in China, Chinese silico-manganese has been still felt to be offered on a high level. However, spot price of manganese ore is now being offered at US$9 per Mn 1% CIF China with a rise from US$7 - 8 at a previous time and this rise of price for manganese ore has suggested the active demand for manganese ore in domestic market of China.

<> Charge chrome = The price of South African charge chrome for shipments to Europe in January - March quarter of 2009 has been fixed at 79 US-Cents per lb. of Cr on spot base. On the other hand, stainless steel companies in Japan are nearly unable to purchase newly charge chrome for January - March quarter and, therefore, have held back to set up a price, including benchmark price, for the quarter. It is certain that, in view of the fact that Japanese mills have been reducing considerably their production of stainless steel, a differential of the chrome demand between Japan and Europe has existed. However, even in Europe, Acerinox of Spain announced in last week to suspend the operations at Algeciras Works in Spain and at Works in South Africa for 12 days. This is the first case for Acerinox after its establishment to decrease their production of stainless steel and the severe circumstances are supposed to have been also applied to the production in Europe.

<> Low carbon ferro-chrome = While the negotiations with regular consumers in Japan on price of low carbon ferro-chrome for shipments in January - March quarter of 2009 have taken a long time, market price of low carbon ferro-chrome is still falling on a basic tone and has come down to a level of 195 - 215 US-Cents per lb. of Cr CIF Japan for carbon 0.1% max. material. Reflecting hard competitions on sales, the contracts concluded at lower prices are increasing and the lowest price has fallen to a lower level than 200 US-Cents per lb. of Cr CIF. In comparison with high carbon ferro-chrome (charge chrome) which have nearly nothing to conclude new contracts with Japanese customers, the contracts on imports of low carbon ferro-chrome for January - March quarter are progressing with limited quantities. However, in relation to news received from Europe, steel companies of Japan have inclined to bid on low carbon ferro-chrome at lowered prices.

<> Silicon metal = Owing to an effect of the decreased production of silicon metal in China, the stocks of this metal at Chinese producers have become thin and, reflecting this aspect, market price of silicon metal offered by Chinese producers has bottomed out and rebounded. Being influenced by this market situation in China, silicon metal is now being offered from China at US$1,700 - 1,750 per metric ton CIF Japan, having risen compared with the bottom price of US$1,500 - 1,600 CIF. However, market price of silicon metal in China has risen as mentioned above because of the positive situation in China but the matter in question, of whether this risen price of Chinese silicon metal is able to permeate into the price for export or not, depends on the negotiations with Japanese customers to be taken place hereafter. Owing to a considerable decrease of automobile production in Japan, secondary aluminum alloy plants of Japan have been driven to reduce their production to a large extent and, consequently, the stocks of silicon metal at consumers have increased substantially.

<> Manganese metal = It is strongly interested in seeing how to spend Lunar New Year holidays in China under the so depressed economy. Local manganese mines are thought to shut down for 3 weeks as usual but the plants to produce electrolytic manganese metal are supposed to take their holidays only for one week and this difference of holidays has been connected with a tightness on supply of manganese ore (manganese carbonate) as raw material and a rise of price for electrolytic manganese metal. The current price of Chinese electrolytic manganese metal is on a level of US$2,750 - 2,800 per metric ton CIF Japan, having come to a standstill.

<> Molybdenum = Molybdenum prices have trended to fall gradually. Thompson Creek Metals of the USA announced recently that the Company has revised to produce 24 million lbs. per annum of molybdenum in concentrate in 2009 compared with 34 million lbs. as planned in November of 2008, but there is a view in the market that Thompson Creek Metals will be necessary to reduce further their molybdenum production by 10 million lbs. for 2009.. The latest price of dealer's oxide (molybdenum oxide) is on a level of US$9.15 - 9.36 per lb. of Mo CIF Japan and that of ferro-molybdenum has come to US$22 - 23 per kg. of Mo CIF Japan with a small and gradual fall.

<> Ferro-vanadium = Dealers are offering ferro-vanadium at US$25 - 26 per kg. of V CIF Japan, having shown a further fall.
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last modified : Thu 05 Feb, 2009 [10:50]
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