The spot price of high-carbon lumpy ferrochrome imported into Japan was assessed at 92-95 cents/lb CIF Japan Friday, up from from 88-92 cents/lb last week on the back of rising production costs in India.
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Two spot deals were reported, one at 95 cents/lb CIF Japan for over 200 mt, October loading from southeast Indian port, and another at 94-95 cents/lb CIF Japan for 100-150 mt, November loading from east Indian port.
The deals were for 10-100 mm lumpy ferrochrome with minimum 60% chrome, maximum 8% carbon, maximum 3-4% silicon, maximum 0.04% phosphorous material. A third Indian producer was looking at -- but it was not a firm offer -- around 92 cents/lb CIF Japan, said a Japanese trader.
One Indian producer source attributed the rise in prices to tightening chrome ore supplies in India following labor disputes at state-owned mines earlier in the year.
India's state-owned Orissa Mining Corporation will hold its monthly sell tender at the end of the month, offering around 10,000 mt of chrome ore of various grades. Producer sources said the September award prices were around 20% higher than those concluded for August.
Chrome ore demand has increased in other parts of the world, said a South Korean trader, having sold over 2,000 mt of Pakistani-origin ore to China this past month. Deals closed at $280/mt CIF for 42-44% grade lump ore, he added.
Meanwhile, Japanese buyers said spot trading activities for the standard 60%-chrome lumpy material were thin this week, consisting of spot inquiries for 20-40 mt loads from non-steelmakers.
Among other grades, one integrated steelmaker bought around 3,000 mt of 0-5 mm fines for the fourth quarter. The price could not be confirmed. There was also interest for minimum 65%-chrome grade, which was offered at 97 cents/lb CIF Japan, said a second Japanese trader.
Outside of Japan, a deal at 88-89 cents/lb CIF South Korea for over 500 mt was reported. One Indian producer source said this is range-bound from the Japanese price level of 94-95 cents/lb CIF Japan, as freight costs from India to Japan are typically 5 cents/lb higher than South Korea.
One steelmaker in Taiwan has suggested an interest to buy minimum 65%-chrome material, but has not asked for an offer yet.