US ferro-chrome prices under threat as low offers emerge

US high-carbon ferro-chrome prices were steady on Thursday April 18, but some traders said the market has the potential to be undercut by lower offers from India.

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High-carbon ferro-chrome was unchanged at $1-1.03 per pound, although several traders told Steel First sister publication AMM that material sourced from India was being offered at 98 cents per pound.

“There are one or two people sitting on Indian-grade material and they’re looking to move it, but 98 cents is not reflective of the market,” one trader said. “It’s frustrating to be dictated by those kinds of offers.”

No spot transactions were confirmed below $1 per pound.

Traders told AMM that spot business had not improved in the ferro-chrome market, but that demand hadn’t deteriorated noticeably either.

“It hasn’t gotten any worse and it hasn’t gotten any better,” a second trader said. “One day you’ll have five calls, the next you’ll have none.”

A third trader said that his company had fielded a “few small inquiries”, but added that conditions were akin to “a feeding frenzy” when consumers emerged for spot purchases.

“Ferro-chrome is not falling, it’s just stagnant,” the first trader said. “There’s no drop in demand to result in a fall in pricing, and no increase in supply. The DLA (Strategic Materials) is the only prompt material in this market.”

Glencore and CCMA paid a total of $1.25 million for a combined 1,000 short tons of high-carbon ferro-chrome offered by the DLA in March. The DLA offered another 1,000 tons of high-carbon ferro-chrome on April 16.