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CHINA FERROCHROME: Import spot price inch lower on weaker rupee

Highlights

The Chinese import spot price for Indian-origin high carbon ferrochrome (58-60% Cr, 6-8% C) inched lower to 83.5-85 cents/lb CFR China Friday, down from 84-85 cents/lb CFR a week ago as some Indian suppliers accepted lower bids from buyers due to the weaker rupee.

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This week a Shanghai-based trader reported hearing a Chinese steelmaker closing two 500 mt deals at 83.5 cents/lb CFR Shanghai, for delivery in one to two months.

Market participants said the price was on the low-side but believed it was tradeable for companies with good relations with their suppliers.


"By right ferrochrome prices should be rising now but because the Indian rupee is depreciating, some suppliers are willing to accept lower prices," said the Shanghai trader.

The rupee has weakened to 65.03 to the dollar on August 23 from 61.08 on August 1.

However some sellers are unwilling to drop their prices because they are bullish about the market given that Chinese stainless steel prices had surged recently.

"Our customer would buy at 83-83.5 cents/lb but our supplier is quoting at 85 cents/lb. At best they are willing to drop prices to 84 cents/lb," said a second Shanghai-based trader.

Other offers in the market were heard at 84-87 cents/lb CFR.

No deals could be confirmed for South African charge chrome (48-52% Cr) but offers were heard at 84-84.5 cents/lb CIF China this week.

"There is quite a lot of interest for imported materials now as prices have not been this low since 2009," said the first trader.

The second trader noted more inquiries from Chinese buyers for imported ferrochrome as well but deals were still hard to close. "There remains a gap between what sellers and buyers want," she said.

--Vivian Teo, vivian.teo@platts.com

--Edited by Alisdair Bowles, alisdair.bowles@platts.com