Now that the Chinese stainless mills did their damage to the ferrochrome market, it’s time to take a larger picture. Indian ferrochrome is being offered in Europe at 82¢ per lb, plus the 7% duty, while in the US the price is 88¢ plus the duty of 3.1%. The offers are for spot material, prepaid.
The Indian producers are facing increasing financial hardships, with analysts believing that only a few including Tara and IMFA will be able to survive.
In South Africa, a large chrome chrome buyer’s initial price was 88¢ but that would countered with 94-96¢. Mitsubishi and ELG were meeting with perspective buyers of Hernic, but the value of the plant keeps dropping along with the charge chrome price. Mitsubishi wants to sell its majority stake before the end of March 2018, but chances keep dimming.
The only question is how far first-quarter 2018 benchmark price will fall, with some suggesting it will return to the third-quarter 2017 price of $1.10.
Prices for high-grade ore are slipping in China and are down $5-10 per mt since the beginning of the week, but demand was spotty.