Ferroglobe Business Rebounds from Painful Decline During Pandemic

Ferroglobe, a major producer of ferrosilicon used in the production of electrical steel, reports that its business has rebounded from the plummet it experienced last year at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Red ink is still flowing, however. 

Based in London and with mining and production operations worldwide, the company is a leading producer globally of silicon metal, silicon-based and manganese-based specialty alloys. In May, it reported Q1 sales increased to $361.4 million, up 13% compared to $320.5 million in Q4 2020, and soundly beating its $311.2 million sales for the same period a year ago.  

Marco Levi, CEO 

“The first quarter results reflect an inflection point for our business which is underpinned by solid supply-demand fundamentals across all products in our portfolio,” commented Marco Levi, CEO. The overall pace of recovery is certainly stronger than what we were expecting and there is now reason to believe these robust conditions will continue for the remainder of the year.” 

The numbers were a big improvement from six months earlier when revenues plummeted, especially for its silicon-based alloys that registered a nine-month decline of 38% in both revenues and volume. Nevertheless, losses have been mounting, though at a reduced rate lately. It suffered a net loss of more than $200 million in the most recent six months and has been engaged in debt restructuring efforts. 

Based in London, Ferroglobe is among the largest producers of both 50% and 75% high-purity ferrosilicon, used to improve strength and quality of steel. High-purity products are used in the production of grain-oriented electrical steel and non-oriented electrical sheet and certain specialty steels. Electrical steel, or silicon steel, is a major magnetic material used in the production of electric motors, generators and transformers. 

The company was established in 2015 from the combination of the Spanish company Grupo Ferroatlantica and its U.S. subsidiary Globe Specialty Metals. In 2006, it acquired Globe Metallurgical, the largest silicon metal manufacturer in North America and largest specialty ferroalloy manufacturer in the U.S., operating eight plants in North America, Argentina, and China. See www.ferroglobe.com