The traders entered the market about two months ago and spent about two weeks buying up South African cargoes imported to China, gearing up to drive prices higher, according to market sources.
It remains to be seen whether the anticipated chrome ore squeeze will be as dramatic as the manganese ore squeeze.
Speculators in the chrome ore market today lack the element of surprise that allowed them to catch out hardened manganese ore market veterans in 2016.
The chrome ore market is braced for the impact and shrewd market participants have familiarised themselves with the tactics seen in the manganese squeeze.
So far, the price of South African UG2 chrome ore has increased by between 13% and 30% – depending on purchase price – since the time the strategy was implemented.
It is understood that the traders bought in at $130-150 per tonne, cif China, shortly after prices crashed from...