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Price Of South African Charge Chrome For Q4 / 07 Rolls Over
= Focus Is Put On Internationally Tightened Supply Of High Carbon Ferro-Chrome
At the negotiations with stainless steel mills of Japan on price of South African charge chrome for shipments in October - December quarter of 2007, Japanese side strongly resisted to a rise of the price but, in consequence of the negotiations, the price of charge chrome for October - December quarter is anticipated to be settled by roll-over from that for the preceding quarter of July - September. For a reference, the benchmark price of South African charge chrome applied to shipments in July - September quarter was 108 US-Cents per lb. CIF Japan.

Some of leading stainless steel companies in Western Europe have already settled the price for October - December quarter by roll-over and major South African producers of ferro-chrome once strongly asked for a rise of the price but finally withdrew from this insistence. However, the companies to produce high carbon ferro-chrome ( charge chrome ) have been limited in the world and, in view of the tightness on supply of high carbon ferro-chrome ( containing higher Cr ), the price for this type of high carbon ferro-chrome to be shipped in October - December quarter has been settled by a rise of 10 US-Cents per lb. from that for July - September quarter in many cases even in Europe. Therefore, stainless steel mills of Japan are supposed to have still left a margin to negotiate on the matter in this week.

The background, which the price of South African charge chrome for shipments in October - December quarter has been settled to roll over, is a change of the circumstances at stainless steel mills' side. Many of stainless steel companies in Europe and South Korea turned to a loss at their settlement of accounts for July - September quarter and the reason for a loss is clearly pointed out by the composition of higher prices for raw materials to purchase against lower prices of products to sell. Under the situation as mentioned above, stainless steel companies of Japan could have still maintained a profit at their settlement of accounts for July - September quarter and this aspect is due to an effect of the measures, which Japanese mills implemented to decrease their production of stainless steel, mainly nickel-based stainless steel products, in order to keep prices of the products and to create a feeling of the tightened supply.

Nevertheless, on the other hand, owing to the decreased production of stainless steel, a looseness on supplies of raw materials may come up and some of stainless steel mills are suggesting to ask for a delay of time to receive cargoes under the contracts for shipments in October - December quarter, if producers' side rises the price of charge chrome for this quarter.
last modified : Thu 08 Nov, 2007 [10:56]
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