Prices of locally produced high-carbon ferrochrome in China have been on the rise due to an uptick in chrome ore prices, market sources said Monday.
Spot ferrochrome was currently at Yuan 6,000/mt (68 cents/lb), possibly ex-plant, said one Beijing-based analyst, adding that prices were up around Yuan 150/mt from a week earlier.
Yuan 6,000/mt is higher than the monthly purchase prices of major Chinese stainless steelmakers; BaoSteel's August purchase price was Yuan 5,890/mt, and Taiyuan and Tsingshan paid Yuan 5,790/mt. They have not yet announced September prices, sources said.
Chinese spot ferrochrome prices, both domestic and import, typically follow the monthly mill prices.
However spot import prices have been de-linked from monthly mill prices for the past two months as the gap between domestic mill and overseas prices widened on the back of tightening supply.
One Chinese trader attributed the recent domestic ferrochrome price rise to higher chrome ore prices, which China imports for the production of ferrochrome.
South African 42% UG2 ore prices have risen to $180/mt CIF at present from $160/mt three weeks ago.
"Ferrochrome prices are up a little, but not too much yet...Chinese buyers are eyeing $160-$170/mt levels still, but it is hard to purchase ore," the trader said.