China looks overseas for new ferrochrome smelters

China may be reached its zenith in ferrochrome production. Analysts say that as much as 50 of the smaller less efficient ferrochrome plants will close; there are approximately 177 smelters currently.

Instead of replacing them in China with larger smelters, the Chinese are expected to build new smelters, probably in Zimbabwe and South Africa, to feed its stainless mills’ consumption. This will completely change the dynamic of the market again, with the expected fall in seaborne chrome ore but replaced by greater ferrochrome production near the mines. The smelters outside of China are also expected to include a power facility, but they will be owned by the Chinese, not any of the existing ferrochrome players.

China will still be dominate in ferrochrome and be the price setter.

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If China builds significant FeCr production capacity in other countries, they will greatly increase their domination of that market because it will give them the opportunity to ship anywhere in the world that they want.