Singapore — The domestic spot price of 50% Cr Chinese high-carbon ferrochrome was assessed at Yuan 6,350-6,500/mt (equivalent to 78-80 cents/lb) -- including 17% VAT and delivery -- on Wednesday, unchanged from a week ago, as the market waited for major Chinese stainless steelmakers to settle their June purchase prices.
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Sources said Jiuquan Iron & Steel had started seeking offers in the market earlier this week but none of the major steelmakers have decided on their prices as at Wednesday afternoon.
Industry watchers mostly reckoned that the steelmakers' June prices may slip by Yuan 50/mt month on month as supply tightness in the domestic market has eased and production in southern China is expected to rise further on reduced power rates during the wet season.
Weaker chrome ore prices and slower demand from steelmakers during the summer lull in the third quarter will also add pressure to the June purchase prices, sources said.
"The ferrochrome producers we spoke to see prices falling because of weak demand," said a Shanghai-based trader.
Chinese domestic stainless steel demand and prices remained weak after nickel metal prices headed south again after a brief rebound, according to stainless steel market sources.
Major stainless steel producers Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel, Baosteel, Jiuquan Iron & Steel and Tsingshan Holding had earlier all reduced their May purchase prices by Yuan 50/mt month on month.