European Ferroalloys Price Insights - November 2022

In November, as a month earlier, European ferroalloys prices were moving in different directions. Most noble alloys, with the exception of ferromolybdenum and low-carbon ferrochrome, fell in price against a similar trend in the Chinese market. Meanwhile, manganese alloys rose in price and ferrosilicon updated to this year's lows.

Market Insights

Carbon steel production continue to decline in most regions. Global steel output has almost not changed in October reaching to 147.3 m tonnes, while total January-October production fell by 4% YoY. In China, the steel production growth slowed down to 11% YoY (79.8 m tonnes), and total 11 months' result declined by 2.2% versus last year. As before, Chinese steel market's uptrend is unsustainable due to a number macroeconomic challenges. 

In the rest of the world, steel production is still decreasing amid unfavourable geopolitical situation and foggy economic perspective. The EU's output fell by another 17.5% YoY, to 11.3 m tonnes. It is, however, slightly more than in September. German steelmakers produced 3.1 m tonnes in October, up 10% MoM, down 14.4% YoY. In North America carbon steel output declined by 7.7% YoY, in South America by 3.2% and the CIS+Ukraine by almost 24%.

The Metalshub all metals index shows only a slight increase in the value of the basket of indices in November. However, it should be noted that ferroalloys prices in Europe are still lagging behind the beginning of the year, when the market was full of positive expectations of a recovery in consumption and prices. 

Metalshub All Metals Index
Manganese and Silicon
  • Weak demand at this time of year and an oversupply of imported products continued to put pressure on ferrosilicon prices in Europe.

  • Falling electricity prices, meanwhile, have allowed producers who had previously stopped production to gradually restart smelting.

  • Bulk manganese alloys rise in price amid continued difficulties with new shipments of silicomanganese from Ukraine and ferromanganese from Russia.

  • A sharp outbreak of COVID-19 disease in China and strict quarantine measures have led to a reduction in the consumption of manganese metal in the country and, consequently, a drop in its price on foreign markets.

  • World's leading manganese ore suppliers raise raw material prices for China in January deliveries, which will support manganese alloy quotations in the near future.

Noble and Chromium alloys
  • November marked a rocky roller coaster for many metal prices, and the nickel price index was no exception. After the sharp rally at the beginning of the month, nickel prices eventually bounced back down.

  • LME is about to conduct enhanced monitoring of nickel trading after prices fell in mid-November in volatile and illiquid conditions.

  • European ferrovanadium and ferrotungsten price indices fall amid falling activity in China, where zero-COVID policies continue to weigh on markets.

  • The price index for low-carbon ferrochrome is rising amid a shortage of Russian material, whose purchases are fraught with sanctions and whose alternatives are extremely limited.

  • Despite speculative attempts by traders to push FeMo prices higher in early November, the alloy price index ended the month with only a marginal increase.

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