While most of the world’s ferrochrome markets have experienced higher prices, the US is still lagging. Most of the blame has been placed on one high-carbon producer trying to reclaim market share that it lost over the last couple of years. Annual contracts, especially in the bulk ferroalloys, are the prized possession by any supplier. While they don’t guarantee future business, it often provides the incumbent with the all important last look. In addition, the mill has “adjusted” to the suppler.
Once lost, the contract is almost impossible to win back. The incumbent will match lower priced bids unless the bid is painfully cheap. This is now the case in the US ferrochrome market.