USA - Magnesium demand is off, prices are down

Reading time: min

Buyer polls by have found magnesium selling in a per-pound range of $2.98 to $3.13 over the past three months, close to the $2.95 to $3.10 range being reported by subscription newspaper American Metal Market. Magnesium alloy prices also are under downward pressure, with die casters being quoted for spot prices between $2.45 and $2.95, down from $2.60 to $3.10 late last year.The trade press has been reporting that prices are “fairly bleak for producers and traders” because buyers at aluminum smelting and die casting firms have gone on vacation. The only reason prices aren’t lower can be traced to high anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Russian material, which has constrained imports into the U.S. and kept supply somewhat snug. Upshot: Contract renegotiations have become the norm in the magnesium market as buyers, who have piled up months of inventories, are looking to push back deliveries or get price reductions.U.S. Magnesium, the only domestic magnesium producer, is cutting output at its Rowley, Utah, magnesium smelter and delaying a planned expansion. A company spokesman says the plant is matching production with demand.