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China ferrochrome: Domestic price stays flat amid expected downward pressure

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China ferrochrome: Domestic price stays flat amid expected downward pressure

Singapore — The domestic spot price of 50% Cr Chinese high-carbon ferrochrome was assessed unchanged week on week Wednesday at Yuan 6,400-Yuan 6,600/mt (equivalent to 78.8-81.3 cents/lb) including 17% VAT and delivery costs.

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The price has yet to react to the latest May purchase price cuts by major stainless steelmakers, but most market participants expect the price to come under pressure in the near-term.

Baosteel and Jiuquan Iron & Steel reduced their May purchase prices by Yuan 50/mt month on month to Yuan 6,400/mt late last week, while Tsingshan Holding also cut its May buying price by Yuan 50/mt month on month to Yuan 6,397/mt early this week.

Local ferrochrome spot prices should ease soon, said an official with a North China ferrochrome plant.

"Demand is not good and there is ample supply... Chrome ore prices are weakening as well," he said.

An official with the raw material department of a central China mill said suppliers had yet to lower offer prices this week but offers should be negotiable.

"Prices could fall by Yuan 50/mt," he said.

The spot price was also under pressure from rising production in South China, with output likely to increase further later this month or in June as power rates in the hydropower-dependent region fall during its wet season, said sources.

However, a Beijing-based market observer said that the domestic ferrochrome spot price will remain stable, albeit only in the near-term, as there is support from the recent rebound in stainless steel and nickel prices.

"Spot prices would have already fallen if not for the rebound in stainless and nickel prices. The rebound has delayed the timing of the (ferrochrome) price decline," she said.

--Vivian Teo,
--Edited by Haripriya Banerjee,