Chromium Market Update (July 13, 2012)

Ferrochrome (HC basis Cr 60 percent) delivered in Europe dropped slightly from last month and was trading between $1.16 and $1.19 a pound on July 12, according to data from Metal-Pages. In the United States, it was trading between $1.14 and $1.19 a pound. Prices in both Europe and the US have dropped from May levels, when the metal plateaued at around $1.25/lb in Europe and $1.20 in the States.

Chinese high-carbon ferrochrome prices eased down on low tender prices from steel mills, industry sources told Metal Pages, adding that ex-factory prices for high-carbon ferrochrome were in the range of 7,650 yuan to 7,800 yuan a tonne – down by 50 yuan/t.

Data from Metal-Pages shows that on July 12 Chinese ferrochrome (HC basis Cr 50 percent) was unchanged, between 7,500 yuan and 7,650 yuan a tonne, below the 8,000 yuan level reached in February and March.

Chinese steel mills are favoring locally-sourced over imported ferrochrome due to significantly higher-priced imports, Examiner.com reports.

“Ferrochrome imports in May reached just 105,747 tonnes, down 8.6% month on month and 40.8% lower year on year, according to Chinese customs data.”

China has accelerated the growth of its ferrochrome industry by importing raw chromite to produce the ferrochrome alloy. South Africa supplies about half of China’s chromite needs.