While a few analysts thought Glencore’s marketing prowess was extraordinary, competitors, as expected, didn’t buy into that. “Look Glencore is great at some things and so-so in others,” one said. “They bought the two European smelters and didn’t do much with them.” Another seller added that its ferrochrome strategy hasn’t been that effective with lots of ups and downs. “I think there are much better marketers out that than Glencore, but that’s my opinion.
Finally, Ferroglobe said it was on the prowl for more deals, including a manganese mine. How about Felman, which is reportedly up for sale. The smelter needs work, according to analysts, and it has been mostly used to provide insurance for GAA’s manganese sales in the US that are considerably higher than Felman’s production. And, Felman may have lost its ore supplier with its principal owner sold Consolidated Minerals to TMI; the sale included manganese mines in Ghana and Australia. In the first nine months of 2017, Eramet’s Gabon operation supplied 162,516 mt of manganese ore to its Marietta, OH, plant out of total imports of 184,272 mt. And, in 2016, Gabon supplied 194,154 mt out of 214,461 mt of total US imports.
So why is Felman so attractive? Simple it holds the key to future US dumping suits against importers. And, Ferroglobe is known to have sharp elbows against dumped material.