The price of charged chrome to be shipped in the next quarter (April - June) to Europe has been fixed between charged chrome smelters in South Africa and chrome-type stainless steel mills in Europe at US$1.27 per lb, up by US Cents 14.5 (13%) from the previous quarter. Usually, after the benchmark for Europe is fixed, Japanese mills also used to follow and agree to this. However, now they have shown reluctance, and even if they think there is no other choice but to accept its price hike, the negotiation will be continued for the rest of the week.|
In light of South Africa's buy-back of electricity being extended (till end May), Japanese mills have an intention to accept a price hike of charged chrome to some extent as there is no way to avoid it. However, whereas the price of chrome-type stainless cold-rolled product has been pushed up a little bit by the increase in the price of carbon steel, the price increase in chrome-type cold-rolled plate and wire to be shipped in April has been just offered at an increase rate of JPY10,000 per ton in order to absorb various expenses.
In case of the price of raw materials being raised, it will need more time to absorb it. Because of that, there is a difficulty for Japanese mills to accept a benchmark price immediately, and as of March 27, they show a stance to continue the negotiation.