Ferro-titanium prices drifted lower in Europe on Wednesday October 29, as market participants reported continuing poor demand.

In-warehouse Rotterdam numbers have been falling rapidly, they said, and delivered prices are following suit. 

Metal Bulletin’s range widened to $5.80-6 per kg on a delivered basis, down 5 cents on the bottom end, hitting the point at which some producers have previously said they would consider making cutbacks to their output.

Producers have suggested in recent weeks that they would not be able to make a margin if prices dropped to $5.80 per kg or below.

The move also marks the lowest level and the widest range the quotation has seen since July this year, although it is unlikely there will be a similar rise in prices to the one seen in August, sources have said.

“Nothing is likely to change in the ferro-titanium market any time soon […] there’s nothing on the horizon to support [it],” a trader told Metal Bulletin.

The expected post-summer uptick in demand has failed to emerge, according to a second trader, and even smaller volumes, which traditionally fetch something of a premium, are now being sold at the same price as the larger tonnages.

However, it is possible that the market may now be approaching a floor, he said.

“Customers might be waiting too long. They think the longer they wait, the cheaper it will get, but by waiting, the might end up paying higher prices,” the second trader said.

It is also still possible to pick and choose orders, and to sell only to those who are willing to pay slightly higher prices, he added.

“It’s probably better not to go for the bigger volumes, but to cherry pick orders and still make a margin,” the second trader said.

Market participants are likely to wait to gauge the mood at Metal Bulletin’s conference in Barcelona next month, sources have said.

Claire Hack
Twitter: @clairehack_mb