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Market Tendency On Imports Of Ferro-Alloys At 15th January 2010
= In Preparation For Lunar New Year In China, Steel Mills Are Moving To Purchase Positively Ferro-Alloys
The market tendency by item on imports of ferro-alloys into Japan at the 15th January of 2010 is as follows ;

<> General view = The active steel production in China has been backed by Lunar New Year to start from the 13th of February and, in preparation for the holidays, steel companies are moving to set up the countermeasures for raw materials. Chinese producers of ferro-alloys are being strongly influenced by the activities at steel mills in China and, by taking a chance on the risen domestic prices of ferro-alloys, are rising prices of ferro-alloys for exports by one side manner. Steel mills in China are anticipated to continue their purchases of ferro-alloys until just before the time to start the holidays and, accordingly, prices of Chinese ferro-alloys are still supposed to maintain a firm tone for one month. On the basis of this trend to rise further domestic prices of ferro-alloys in China, prices of Chinese ferro-alloys for exports are also supposed to have a continuous rise.

<> Ferro-silicon = Chinese ferro-silicon is now being offered at US$1,350 per metric ton FOB (corresponding to US$1,370 - 1,375 CIF) but a higher price of US$1,400 FOB is also being offered. Domestic price of ferro-silicon in China has currently risen by CNY400 per ton to CNY6,200 per ton in comparison with that at the end December of 2009. In view of the price level quoted in domestic market of China, the price of Chinese ferro-silicon offered for export is thought to be comparatively high but Chinese producers have been mostly interested in sales of ferro-silicon for domestic market. The stocks of Chinese ferro-silicon stored at Tianjin shipping port have decreased to only 80,000 tons at present, having had a considerable decrease from 300,000 tons as once stocked at this main shipping port. The reason is that, in addition to a confusion of inland transportation caused by a heavy snowfall, Chinese producers have rather attached an importance to domestic sales than exports. The current level of prices for Chinese ferro-silicon to be contracted with Japanese importers for shipments in February to March is in the range of US$1,320 - 1,350 per metric ton FOB (corresponding to US$1,350- 1,370 per metric ton CIF Japan), at which trading companies are still hesitating to book Chinese ferro-silicon. However, Japanese side is scheduled to take place from the end of January - the beginning of February the negotiations with Chinese suppliers on price of ferro-silicon for shipments in April to May and has to judge soon whether the prices offered as mentioned above (US$1,350 - 1,400 FOB) are workable on the market in Japan or not. For a reference, Hyundai Steel of South Korea held in an early part of January a tender to purchase 5,000 tons of ferro-silicon and it is now marked to see the lowest price bidden at this tender.

<> Silico-manganese = Reflecting a considerable rise of price for manganese ore done by Manganese Ore (India Ltd. (MOIL) recently, Indian silico-manganese, which was previously exported at discounted prices, has been now compelled to rise its price. Accordingly, Indian producers have at once offered silico-manganese at higher prices than US$1,330 per ton FOB, corresponding to approximately US$1,400 per metric ton CIF Japan by taking into account of ocean freight of more than US$40 per ton for shipments in containers. On the other hand, domestic price of silico-manganese in China has currently risen by CNY350 per ton to CNY8,400 per ton in comparison with that at the end December of 2009. Some of Chinese suppliers are intending to rise domestic price of silico-manganese to a level of CNY8,500 - 8,600 per ton for the near future. The price of Chinese silico-manganese for export is now being offered at US$1,520 - 1,550 per metric ton FOB, with an offer at a lower price of US$1,500 FOB, and actual contract with China on export of silico-manganese for Japan was not materialized for a long time but is now being concluded at a nearer price level to US$1,400 - 1,450 per ton FOB China (corresponding to US$1,420 - 1,470 per metric ton CIF Japan). By taking into consideration of the matters, which Indian silico-manganese has a possibility to be not delivered and price of Chinese silico-manganese is anticipated to rise further after the holidays for Lunar New Year in China were over, these new contracts on import of Chinese silico-manganese into Japan are supposed to have been concluded. Japan has seen a negative factor of the demand for silico-manganerse caused by the lowered operations at electric furnace mills but a fever in China and India shown from the beginning of new year has surpassed a weak tone in Japan.

<> Charge chrome = China had once restrained to import high carbon ferro-chrome (charge chrome) in October - November of 2009 but has now changed this measure. The production of stainless steel in China was anticipated to revive from the second half of December of 2009 and, in order to cope with a forecast of the situation to recover substantially the production in January - March quarter of 2010, stainless steel mills in China have taken a positive attitude to purchase ferro-chrome. Accordingly, as far as the market in China is concerned, spot price of charge chrome (high carbon ferro-chrome) has maintained a firm tone. The current price of high carbon ferro-chrome (with Cr 50% min.) imported into China is moving to rise from 88 US-Cents per lb. of Cr CIF to a higher level than 90 US-Cents CIF. The price of high carbon ferro-chrome purchased by major stainless steel companies in China from ferro-alloy producers there has been sporadically settled on a level of CNY7,800 per ton for a substantial quantity but spot purchases for small lots have been required to pay CNY8,000 - 8,300 per ton. Since the economic situation in Europe is still unable to break away from a depression, it is wondered whether the benchmark price of South African charge chrome for shipments in April - June quarter of 2010 is possible to revise with a rise and to recover to which extent or not. The parties concerned are still groping for this matter. However, in view of a tightness on supply of actual cargoes of charge chrome and the constitution to raise further cost for production in South Africa, it seems to be certain that the benchmark price of South African charge chrome for shipments in April - June quarter will be revised with a rise.

<> Manganese metal = The price of electrolytic manganese metal offered from China for export is in the range of US$2,850 - 2,900 per ton FOB. The duty of 20% to be imposed on export of electrolytic manganese metal from China has remained unchanged. The inquiries for electrolytic manganese metal from South Korea and Europe have been sporadically placed before Chinese suppliers but the actions from Japan to purchase Chinese electrolytic manganese metal are extremely sluggish. Owing to the holidays for Lunar New Year in China to start from the 13th of February, Chinese producers of electrolytic manganese metal are scheduled to suspend their operations for a while and, in preparation for this case, the consumers concerned in China are active to secure in advance actual cargoes of electrolytic manganese metal. Domestic price of electrolytic manganese metal in China is currently in the range of CNY152,000 - 154,000 per ton, having risen by CNY400 - 600 per ton compared to that at the end December of 2009. Therefore, domestic price of this metal has risen by CNY1,600 (US$235) per ton for the last 2 months from the beginning of December.

<> Silicon metal = The price of silicon metal for export has ceased to move and this aspect of the market is due to the fact that aluminum alloy plants in Japan have already finished by the end December of 2009 their purchases of silicon metal for shipments in January - March quarter of 2010. The price of silicon metal for export proposed from Chinese side is on a level of approximately US$2,250 per metric ton CIF Japan at present but, when Japanese plants are again in the market, it seems to be inevitable to see a rise of price for silicon metal. The supply situation of Chinese silicon metal is thought to be tight on a basic tone for a reduction of the production in winter drought season and, then, to loosen from March when a high-water season comes.

<> Molybdenum = In advance of the case to list price of molybdenum oxide on LME from the 22nd February of 2010, the traders concerned are moving to purchase molybdenum on speculation and molybdenum prices have risen to a substantial extent. Market price of molybdenum oxide has already reached a level of US$15 per lb. of Mo, having risen by 30% compared with that in December of last year. It was widely informed that a trader started from December of last year to purchase molybdenum and has now held 1,000 tons of molybdenum, having caused to stimulate a further rise of molybdenum prices. In the past years, owing to a scarcity of spot cargoes, traders had retreated from actual transactions on molybdenum. Also, the business to export Chinese ferro-molybdenum was only the case left for traders but even this transaction has been restrained from 2 - 3 years ago. Consequently, the functions to be performed by traders have shrunk. However, the dealing of molybdenum at LME is inaugurated and traders will be able to exhibit their functions for hedging. Accordingly, molybdenum prices are anticipated to fluctuate very much.

<> Ferro-vanadium = In view of the facts that molybdenum prices are still rising further and the world production of steel is expected to recover in 2010, dealers are now offering ferro-vanadium at US$24 - 28 per kg. of V CIF Japan by a rise of US$3 - 5 per kg. from those in December of last year.
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last modified : Thu 21 Jan, 2010 [10:30]
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