Chromium prices tighten as ore costs rise

Chromium prices moved up on the low end on Friday September 16 on the back of increases in the price of chrome ore.

Metal Bulletin’s chromium price rose to $7,000-7,400 per tonne, from $6,900-7,400 previously, as producers reported high costs of raw materials. Chrome ore prices were up 5.6% week-on-week at $185-190 per tonne cif main Chinese ports on Friday.

“Ore prices are up and looking like they’re getting higher going into Q4,” one trader said. “Producers will be getting squeezed on margins at this level and most have upped their offers.”

“I’m actually looking for some chromium at the moment,” another buyer said. “I can’t find any cheap stuff on the ground in Europe, so it looks like things could be in for a move [up].”

Chromium prices have been slowly declining over the past twelve months from $8,300-8,700 to the recent low of $6,900-7,400. Ore prices meanwhile declined going into 2016, but have been steadily rising since February and are now $40 higher than they were this time last year.

Demand for chrome metal is also rising, according to one trader, as more oil rigs come online and the metal is needed in coatings for gas turbines that power the platforms.

“I’m hearing an improvement on the [industrial gas turbine] side,” the trader said. “This seems to be primarily as a result of an increase in the amount of oil rigs coming online.”