RESEARCH: Ferro-alloy prices poised for strong finish to 2020

The latest forecasts from Fastmarkets’ team of analysts are ready to view.

  • Prices for most ferro-alloys maintained their upward momentum into October, solidifying previous gains and reflecting the improved demand from steelmakers, the rebuilding of depleted inventories, and the supply-side concerns following both planned and unplanned outages. Gains were noted for ferro-silicon, silicon metal, manganese alloys, ferro-chrome, ferro-molybdenum and ferro-tungsten.
  • We see mixed movement in the ferro-alloy markets for November, reflecting the magnitude of supply concerns in the context of demand recovery from steelmakers. Although price movements will be mixed in November, we expect to see higher prices for most alloys in December, reflecting increased purchasing activity for early 2021 and rising energy costs in numerous countries.
  • More scope for increased steel production and steel product prices were expected through 2021, particularly if an effective Covid-19 vaccine becomes widely available. Europe’s huge financial stimulus package is also scheduled to be ratified and released by mid-2021, which should boost metals demand on a raft of expected infrastructure projects in the region.
  • Spot offer prices for ferro-silicon have tipped above €1,000 ($1,182) per tonne in Europe after production cuts across the continent this year, but the recent settlement of fourth-quarter 2020 delivery contracts has cooled buying interest for prompt demand. Relatively low stock levels in Europe should put a floor under prices after a recent bull run, with stable-to-higher pricing expected.
  • The US market is expected to track the trend in Europe. In China, there is also tight availability and the steel sectors appear stronger than elsewhere, with the Chinese economy recovering more quickly and strongly than the rest of the world. There is also tight availability of the feedstock to make ferro-silicon, and this should strengthen the stable-to-upward trend in ferro-silicon prices for the remainder of this year.

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Sign up here for Fastmarkets’ free webinar on November 4, 2020, beginning at 9am GMT: European flat steel market - on the mend after the Covid-19 fallout?
- Overview of EU flat steel price developments in 2020 so far
- Suppliers’ response to the drop in demand
- Fortress Europe? Toughening of trade defense measures
- The survival of European steelmakers facing high raw material costs
- Demand contraction and a slow path to recovery
- Near-term price outlook.

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