FOCUS: Two-year low for charge chrome highlights South Africa's cost challenge

Charge chrome prices have held at a 25-month low throughout July, highlighting the challenges South African producers are facing with rising production costs.

Fastmarkets’ ferro-chrome index, 50% Cr import, $/lb contained Cr, has held at $0.72 per lb since July 5 after China’s stainless steel mills slashed July tender prices amid weakening demand and ample supply. The current range is the lowest the index has recorded since June 16, 2017, when the index dropped to $0.71 per lb. Producers cut back on output in 2017 and refused to sell to China at such low levels, which is similar to how producers have been cutting back production this year amid rising costs and subdued prices. Currently, producers say they are in a worse position than two years ago due to increases in production costs, particularly rising power prices, amid South African state power-utility Eskom’s struggle to generate adequate supply. South African power prices rose by 14% on April 1 this year, as part of a...

Published

Janie Davies

July 30, 2019

15:10 GMT

London