In the annual battle between ferroalloy suppliers and steel mill buyers early indications are that the sellers hold the whip hand at least for now. The sellers argue that higher ore prices for many of the alloys have to be passed on. And whatever inventory there is it is being held by the suppliers.
The sellers also pointed out that their numbers have decreased along with their lack of profitability.
The sellers commented they are tired of losing money and they are no longer willing to accommodate the mills. “The heavy discounters are gone,” one ferroalloy producer said.
The sellers want to severely reduce discounts and don’t want to talk about fixed prices at current levels.
One mill who recently came out opted to tender for a year instead of quarterly. After reviewing all the offers, the mill reissued a quarterly tender.
“Its bold talk now,” one buyer said. “The companies that came out first will be punished. But as competition increases prices will decrease. Only time will tell who is right.