Global steel production shrank in the first half of 2020 amid the damaging economic and social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, in turn dampening demand for ferro-silicon alloys.
China, the world’s largest ferro-silicon producer, exported 164,392 tonnes of the material in January-June, a decrease of 24.6% from 218,142 tonnes in the same period of 2019, Chinese customs data showed.
In addition to the decline in overseas demand, strength in China’s domestic market and aggressive offers from foreign counterparts have made exporting extremely difficult for Chinese suppliers, participants told Fastmarkets.
“We used to export 60,000-80,000 tonnes of ferro-silicon per year. But this year, as of August, we have sold just a bit more than 10,000 tonnes,” a China-based ferro-silicon exporter said.
Falling overseas demand
Top importers of Chinese ferro-silicon, including Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, have all recorded a slump in demand for...