SHANGHAI, Apr. 19 (SMM) – The sluggishness in silicomanganese alloy market forced alloy producers to suspend production. Overall traded prices were steady, but some cargo holders discounted goods. Market players expected steel plants will further lower bidding prices next month. SMM sources reported that market prices were generally closed to cost lines, and alloy producers were forced to discount goods for steel plants.
On the steel market side, according to data from the CISA, domestic daily average crude steel output in early April will hit a record high of 2.12 million mt. One market player reported: “No steel plant will cut output until marginal profits decrease to zero”. Of the 155 blast furnaces remaining in production in Tangshan, only 5 conducted maintenance by April 11th, with operating rates about 96.77%, up 5.16% from the previous week. Notably, operating rates at blast furnaces in Tangshan have been above 90% since the start of this year. Given high output, slow declines in steel inventories and sluggish demand, steel prices will not improve if steel plants do not cut output.