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World Production Of FeCr In First Half 2009 Decreased By 45%
= Survey By ICDA, Decline In FeCr Production Was Larger Than Reduction In Stainless Steel Production
According to a preliminary survey of the world production of ferro-chrome in the first half (January - June) of 2009 compiled and released in last week by ICDA (International Chrome Development Association), being influenced by a substantial reduction in production of stainless steel and a considerable measure for adjustment of ferro-chrome stocks implemented by steel mills, the world production of ferro-chrome in the first half of 2009 decreased by 45.5% as a whole in comparison with that in the same period of 2008. Also, the world production of ferro-chrome in the first quarter (January - March) of 2009 had a large decrease of 57.3% compared to that in the same quarter of 2008.

The quantities (on material base) of ferro-chrome produced in the world for the first half of 2009 were <> low carbon ferro-chrome : 120,430 tons, <> medium carbon ferro-chrome : 77,394 tons, <> high carbon ferro-chrome (including charge chrome) : 2,267,504 tons, <> silico-chrome : 40,235 tons and <> total : 2,505,563 tons.

In comparison with the quantities of ferro-chrome produced in the world for the first half of 2008, those produced for the same period of 2009 were <> low carbon ferro-chrome : decreased by 43.3%, <> medium carbon ferro-chrome : decreased by 48.5%, <> high carbon ferro-chrome : decreased by 44.6%, <> silico-chrome : decreased by 72.0% and <> total : decreased by 45.5%.

The core area in production of ferro-chrome is Southern Africa and this region produced 718,993 tons of ferro-chrome in the first half of 2009, which decreased by 60% compared with that in the same period of 2008 and became a larger reduction than that on a global scale. This aspect was the feature for a decrease in the world production of ferro-chrome implemented by producers in the first half of 2009. South African producers sell larger quantities of ferro-chrome mainly for European countries but, owing to the drastic cancellations of existing contracts and / or the postponements of deliveries as requested by European steel mills, had been driven to reduce their production of ferro-chrome with the largest extent and for the longest period in its history.

According to the recent investigations by analysts and South African producers, the world output of crude stainless steel in the calendar year (January - December) of 2009 is estimated to be 24.20 million tons by a decrease of 8.4% from that (26.40 million tons) produced in the preceding year of 2008, because China is expected to produce 8.00 million tons of crude stainless steel in 2009 (compared to 6.94 million tons produced in 2008).

On the beginning of 2009, the world production of crude stainless steel was severely forecasted to be 22.00 million tons. However, the production of stainless steel in China has revived from March of this year and the operations in South Korea and Taiwan have also recovered from April. In addition, steel companies in Japan have returned from July to produce stainless steel by 70 - 80% of their nominal capacity and, therefore, an anticipation for the world production of stainless steel in 2009 is moving to an upward tendency. The production activity of stainless steel in Europe had delayed to improve but is expected to recover clearly from September - October, excluding that in Southern Europe.

The quarterly quantities (on material base) of ferro-chrome produced in the world for the first half of 2009 and broken down by carbon grades were as per the table attached hereto. In comparison with a recent forecast of stainless steel to be produced in the world for 2009, an extent, having reduced the production of ferro-chrome in the first half of 2009, was larger and a balance on supply and demand of ferro-chrome is being improved rapidly. The excessive stocks of ferro-chrome at major producers in South Africa have been certainly resolved (as Dr. Konchar, Chairman of Kermas, said) and this adjustment of the stocks has caused to be firming up prices of ferro-chrome.
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last modified : Fri 28 Aug, 2009 [12:00]
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