Industrial Metals

A brief overview of chromium price developments, supply and demand and significant market movers.

The chromite market is experiencing two different worlds these days.

In Europe, prices took a major jump at the end of March, according to Metal-Pages. During the last week of the month, European 52-percent chromium product leapt 13.4 percent, from $1.12 per pound to $1.27.

The metal held the gains through the week ended April 11, closing at $1.27 per pound.

But while Europe has been rising, Chinese chromite markets have been falling.

The biggest loser over the last few months has been South African concentrate 44-percent grade DEQ. Since mid-January, prices for this material have dropped 11.4 percent; they currently sit at 30 to 31 renminbi (US$4.85 to $5.01) per metric ton (MT).

Turkish 42-percent grade DEQ product in China has fared similarly. Prices have fallen 10 percent since mid-January, closing out the week ended April 11 at 44 to 45 ($7.12 to $7.28) renminbi per MT.

A source in Jiangsu told Metal-Pages that Chinese ferrochrome makers are demanding lower chromite prices in order to decrease production costs. The source noted that foreign chromite prices are expected to improve on the back of rising prices for ferrochrome in the region.

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