The Chinese stainless mills shouldn’t expect ANY holiday cards from Western ferrochrome producers after Tsingshan lowered its December ferrochrome buying price by rmb800 to rmb7,096 per mt (81.24¢ per lb) while Baosteel also dropped its price by rmb800 to rmb7,100 (81.28¢). The downward revision was not unexpected despite what one large South African charge chrome producer was saying.
The lower-than-expected December price puts additional pressure on the European (Glencore) first quarter 2018 benchmark price. To consumers, the only question is how much will it fall in the first quarter. The buyers are hoping that it won’t be a drastic cut because it only hurts their surcharges. The South African producers could increase the discounts while keeping the benchmark the same ($1.39 per lb) but almost a 60¢ spread between the Chinese and Glencore price is a little much to swallow.