A cloud of depression hung over the heads of many in the bulk alloys
industry as they departed for their Christmas break this year. Fallout
from Asia has killed demand and prices for steel, while
mills are keen to squeeze every last penny from raw material producers.
There are indications now however that they may have squeezed a bit too
tightly and will face a backlash certainly by ferro-chrome
producers next year.
South Africas producers have seen prices for the first quarter
charge chrome negotiations sink to record lows. They have hardly been
helped by the return to the market of the Kazakhs at a time of
over-supply. Mills delayed signing until the last possible moment and have
achieved prices as low as 32 cents per lb. Industry observers say that...