Alloys & Ores

Monthly Chrome Supply Chain Analysis

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Chrome, Ferrochrome & Stainless Monthly Review

In June’s Issue

The Market continued to show weakness in June, culminating in a fall in the European benchmark price to 104c/lb from 120c/lb in the second quarter. In particular the market was impacted by weaker Yuan/Dollar, lower ferroalloy bid prices from stainless-steel mills and Relatively high stock levels, much of which is deemed to be “trapped” as they were purchased when prices were high.

Chrome stocks are still relatively high despite lower import demand in both May and June with very little signs of abating. As such we expect that prices will continue to fall. South African 44% concentrates (bulk) averaged $160-165/tonne, down $15-20/tonne from May with other regions following suit.

HC-Ferrochrome producers in China are still operating at relatively high rates, though output did decline in June to 504,000 tonnes. Mills have at least two months of ferrochrome stocks on hand so there is no need for restocking until at least the fourth quarter and as such we expect prices to remain subdued. At these levels, many Chinese ferrochrome producers are marginally profitable at best (RMB25-50/tonne), while elsewhere producers have elected to either idle furnaces or reduce production. Glencore guided the market down 50,000 tonnes, but this lower guidance had more to do with the ailing utility provider in South Africa, Eskom and continued power outages than market forces.

Looking at the stainless-steel market, Europe’s economic depression has seen surcharges trend lower in July.  Consumption, in general, remains lackluster, though some Asian mills, particularly in Taiwan have opted to raise offer prices in order to mitigate the effects of exchange rate depreciation and higher nickel prices.

The Core chrome ore monthly reports, has provided ten years of consistent trend analysis for the chrome, ferrochrome and stainless steel industries.

The analyst takes a macro, top down view of the industry and formulates their opinion based on the prevailing macroeconomic factors impacting the chrome supply chain. These factors include, but are not limited to the following:

  •  Chinese incentives to hoard stainless steel and chrome ore stocks
  •  Capacity expansions of ferrochrome smelters
  • Trade analysis including exports of South African chrome and ferrochrome

The report is extremely data-rich and tracks these developments as well as other economic trends, then, based on discussions with producers and traders regarding their expected volume output and exports, formulates a quarterly price forecast for the subsequent eight quarters based on the relative supply and demand imbalances.

  1. Chrome Ore Analysis
    1. Market Overview of Chrome Ore
    2. Trade of Chrome Ore
    3. Chrome Ore Price
  2. Ferrochrome
    1. Market Overview of Ferrochrome
    2. Trade of Ferrochrome
    3. Ferrochrome Prices
  3. Stainless Steel
    1. Market Overview of Stainless Steel

**Whilst we make every effort to keep the chapters and data consistent, this data may vary from month to month based on availability and relevance. Each issue is accompanied by a detailed excel data pack.

List of Charts

  1. Chrome ore inventory at Chinese ports
  2. Chinese stocks at ports by origin
  3. Spot vs. contract prices
  4. Ferrochrome stocks at Chinese plants
  5. Average LC/MC ferrochrome stocks at Chinese plants
  6. China chrome ore consumption by province
  7. Trade of Chinese chrome ore imports
  8. South African exporters of chrome ore
  9. Monthly Chinese chrome ore imports
  10. Chrome ore imports to China by country
  11. China HC-FeCr production
  12. China production rate by region
  13. China HC-FeCr output
  14. Number of operational furnaces by region in China
  15. China monthly LC/MC-ferrochrome output
  16. China monthly LC/MC output by region
  17. Chinese LC & HC chrome ore consumption
  18. Chinese ferrochrome imports from main suppliers
  19. Ukraine LC/FeCr imports by country
  20. Chinese stainless steel production
  21. Wuxi Market Inventory
  22. Foshan Market Inventory

List of Tables

  1. Outlook for supplier/ demand and price by quarter
  2. Chrome ore shipments due to arrive in China for the upcoming month
  3. Price of South African ore
  4. Price of Turkish ore
  5. Price of Zimbabwe ore
  6. Output of Kazakhstani ferrochrome
  7. Output of Russian ferrochrome
  8. Ukraine imports
  9. Chinese offer prices by stainless steel producer
  10. Chinese imported ferrochrome prices
  11. Average stainless steel surcharges
  12. Ferrochrome benchmark prices

**Whilst we make every effort to keep the chapters and data consistent, this data may vary from month to month based on availability and relevance. Each issue is accompanied by a detailed excel data pack.

Lara Smith

Lara has been an analyst for over ten years, starting her career as an equity analyst at Foord Asset Management and more recently as the lead analyst at Steinmetz Group, where she was responsible for sourcing, analyzing and evaluating potential mining acquisitions in Africa and the Baltic regions. In addition to the Steinmetz principal resource portfolio of diamonds and ferrous metals, they also held a smaller portfolio of base and minor metals including nickel, cobalt, copper and lithium. From 2009-2011, she independently authored three in-depth studies that formed the inception of Core Consultants Read More


Release Period: Monthly
Last issue release date: 30 June 2019
Next issue release date: 30 July 2019


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1 review for Monthly Chrome Supply Chain Analysis

  1. Andrew Jones

    Saves many thousands of research hours

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