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|Supply And Demand Of Main Ferro-Alloys In Japan For Jan. - Mar. 2006|
|= Stocks Of High Carbon Fe-Cr Continued Its Adjustment|
The supply and demand of main ferro-alloys in Japan for the first quarter ( January - March ) of 2006 were as per the tables (1) and (2) shown below. In the course of that Japan produced 27.995 million tons of crude steel in January - March quarter of 2006, which increased by 0.8% compared with that in the same quarter of 2005 and kept a high level, the quantities of main ferro-alloys consumed by domestic market of Japan were mostly maintained on a firm tone. However, as regards each item of main ferro-alloys, since the production of stainless steel ( hot-rolled products ) in 2005 had a decline of 5.2% from that in 2004, an aftereffect of this cutback was still put on consumption of high carbon ferro-chrome and, therefore, the stocks of this ferro-alloy continued to be adjusted by means of holding back the imports.|
The total quantity of high carbon ferro-chrome stocked in Japan as of the 31st March of 2006, consisting of the stocks at steel mills and the cargoes imported into Japan and stored at bond warehouses, is supposed to be 3 months against the actual consumption per month and, accordingly, the quantity of high carbon ferro-chrome imported into Japan in January - March quarter of 2006 came to 137,000 tons, which had a considerable decrease of 37.9% compared to that in the same quarter of 2005. Stainless steel mills in Japan have been still decreasing their stocks of high carbon ferro-chrome and this de-stocking is anticipated to be continued not only in April - June quarter but also in July - September quarter. It is wondered whether the stocks of high carbon ferro-chrome in Japan will be decreased to a normal level in July - September quarter or not, and Japan will face a delicate phase at that time as the matter has been severely injured. For a reference, Japan consumed 211,975 tons of high carbon ferro-chrome in January - March quarter of 2006, having decreased by 9.9% compared with that in the same quarter of 2005.
While the supply situation of ferro-silicon in this quarter ( April - June ) has suddenly turned to be very tight, the actual situation of ferro-silicon in the preceding quarter ( January - March ) was unable to show a signal of this tightness. However, reflecting a firm tone on production of crude steel, the consumption of ferro-silicon in Japan increased. Namely, Japan consumed 95,547 tons of ferro-silicon in January - March quarter of 2006 as increased by 1.4% compared to that in the same quarter of 2005. Also, because of the fact that Japan has no domestic production of ferro-silicon, the structure to import all quantity of ferro-silicon to be required in Japan has continued for more than 20 years and, as a matter of fact, Japan imported 126,724 tons of ferro-silicon in January - March quarter of 2006, which had an increase of 11.7% compared with that in the same quarter of 2005.
When the reason, why the supply situation of ferro-silicon in Japan has suddenly turned to be tight, is analyzed, this problem is due to the delayed shipments and nondeliveries against the existing contracts as commenced from April. Japan has depended a 80% of the demand for ferro-silicon on the supply from China but the shipments of ferro-silicon from China are not in order. However, the problem of tightness on supply of ferro-silicon has been applied not only to the markets in Asian region but also to the markets in Europe and the USA and has expanded to the worldwide scale, causing to deepen its root. Norway is a main supplier of ferro-silicon for Europe and the USA, and Ukraine is a main country to supply ferro-silicon to Russia, but the quantities of ferro-silicon supplied by these two major countries had decreased in January - March quarter.
Japan consumed 82,684 tons of silico-manganese in January - March quarter of 2006, having increased by 10.1% compared to that in the same quarter of 2005, and also imported 57,028 tons of silico-manganese at the same time, which had an increase of 1.1% from that in the same quarter of 2005. In addition, Japan produced domestically 28,578 tons of silico-manganese in January - March quarter of 2006 as increased by 2.3% compared to that in the same quarter of 2005. The sources to supply silico-manganese for Japan have consisted of the imports from China, Ukraine and Kazakhstan and the domestic cargoes produced in Japan. Therefore, the composition on supply of silico-manganese in Japan has been balanced. The main source to import silico-manganese into Japan is China but the imports of silico-manganese into Japan are not an oligopoly and an advantage on imports of silico-manganese is a diversification of the sources. The current price of silico-manganese to import is on a level of US$650 per ton CIF Japan with a firm tone but price of silico-manganese has been thought to be moving in the boxed range.
However, price of silico-manganese has included the ground to be cautious. Namely, price of ferro-silicon has already risen to a level of US$800 - 830 per ton CIF Japan with an aim to reach US$1,000 CIF in the near future and, accordingly, there is a big possibility that Chinese producers will shift their production item from silico-manganese to ferro-silicon like a phenomenon with snowslide.
|last modified : Tue 13 Jun, 2006 [10:33]|