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CHINA FERROCHROME: Chinese buyers shun imports for now


Spot prices for high carbon ferrochrome and charge chrome imported into China remained steady this week with trade activities remaining muted as buyers stayed on the sidelines ahead of the settlement of November bid prices by Chinese major stainless steelmakers.

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No deals could be confirmed for Indian-origin high carbon ferrochrome (58-60% Cr) this week but sources pegged the tradeable price at 84-85 cents/lb CIF on Friday, unchanged week on week.

Offers for Indian-origin high carbon ferrochrome were heard at 85-90 cents/pound CIF China this week, down slightly from 86-90 cents/lb CIF the previous week.

Most sources said offer prices were unchanged for them this week but one Beijing-based trader noted that his supplier had offered at 85-85.50 cents/lb CIF, a level that was lower than mainstream offers in the market. He added that his company was only interested in buying at below 85 cents/lb CIF.

A Shanghai-based trader said her customers' price ideas were around 84-85 cents/lb CIF but none wanted to submit firm bids ahead of the November bid price settlements.

Market watchers were expecting the major stainless producers to settle their purchase prices for November deliveries this week but there was no word of settlements by late afternoon Friday.

There was however, talk in the market that Zhangjiagang Pohang Stainless Steel had agreed to buy Chinese domestic high carbon ferrochrome at Yuan 6,950/mt (86 cents/lb CIF) on Friday -- unchanged from its purchase price last week. ZPSS officials could not be reached for confirmation.

Deals and offers for South African charge chrome remained thin this week. Sources indicated the tradeable price for charge chrome (48-52% Cr) at 84-85 cents/lb CIF on Friday, also unchanged from the previous week.

A South African charge chrome producer is looking to sell 5,000-6,000mt in the market but buyers were not keen to buy at the moment, said a source close to the producer.

"Material is abundant. There is no rush to buy in the market," said the source. He expected supply from the producer may be concluded at around 84-84.5 cents/lb CIF next week.

The domestic spot price of high carbon ferrochrome (50% basis Cr) in China was Yuan 6,850-7,000/mt (85-86.5 cents/lb), delivered with 17% VAT, Wednesday.

--Vivian Teo,
--Edited by Irene Tang,