Japanese stainless steel mills have continued negotiation with several foreign ferro-chrome producers to fix the purchase price of high-carbon ferro-chrome for the period from July to September in 2016, and have recently come to an agreement on the price to be up by US Cents 16 from the prior period. The price is US Cents 106 per lb by estimate and the price hike is for the first time in 9 quarterly periods since the period from April to June in 2014.|
The reason why the price was up from the prior period this time was because (1) The producers' operating rate will be lowered during July to September when it is a winter time in South Africa and the electricity rate becomes relatively high. (2) The number of producers in South Africa which applied for business rescue increased and the production curtailment is expanding, (3) The using ratio of high-carbon ferro-chrome goes up due to scarce nickel-containing stainless steel scrap (SABOT) and (4) As the spot price continues rising in China which is the biggest consuming country, the long-term contract price in Japan also had to be raised.
The trends in the prices since the year 2015 is <> During January to March in 2015: Cents 116 (down by Cents 7 ditto), <> April to June: Cents 116 (unchanged ditto), <> During July to September: Cents 116 (unchanged ditto), <> During October to December: Cents 112 (down by Cents 4 ditto), <> During January to March in 2016: Cents 100 (down by Cents 12 ditto) and <> During April to June: Cents 90 (down by US Cents 10 ditto).