All questions and no answers

The 2017 ferroalloy contract-mating season is just beginning with more uncertainty than normal. Both sides are trying to figure out whether to press for more fixed prices or stick with index pricing. And what index prices to use. Coupled with the index pricing is what is a reasonable discount, while buyers are wondering how long they should fix prices for if given the option.

All this comes at a time when prices are on the rise. “It’s a terrible time for us to negotiate, one buyer said. “All the suppliers are saying that alloy will be really tight next year but how can I made a decision about 2017 right now?”

Right now, it’s just posturing by all sides, with negotiations expected to begin in earnest in coming weeks.

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