SHANGHAI, Apr. 3 (SMM) - China’s crude steel output may grow by 4% from February’s 61.82 million mt to 64.48 million mt in March. Silicomangan alloy output will likely rise by 6% from February’s 850,000 mt to 930,000 mt in March. Ample supply of silicomangan alloy and a slight decline in imported manganese ore prices pushed silicomangan alloy prices down by RMB 100/mt. Mainstream traded prices for 65/17 silicomangan alloy were RMB 6,800-6,900/mt (including tax, on an acceptance basis) in south China in March, and RMB 6,900-7,100/mt in north China.
China’s daily crude steel output is expected to edge up in April due to rigid demand downstream. Operating rates at silicomangan alloy producers in south China will grow slightly as power tariff will drop with the onset of rainy season, and this will result in plentiful supplies in April. Steel producers will continue to push for lower input costs against depressing steel outlook and high steel inventories. SMM thus expects a RMB 50-100/mt decline in 65/17 silicomangan alloy prices in April.