FOCUS: Chinese chrome buyers face barriers to switching supply even with South African export tax

It has been two weeks since South Africa’s cabinet approved a chrome ore export tax to support its chrome sector, and Chinese buyers say they would have little option but to accept the higher costs.

China is the world’s largest chrome ore importer and would therefore bear the brunt once the export tax is carried through. But the East Asian country has no choice but to brace for the price rise because South Africa’s dominance in the chrome market has made it impractical to source the raw material from other suppliers.
Price increases on ore and alloy
The export tax was approved on October 22. Although the South African government has not yet announced the rate of the export tax or the start date, market participants told Fastmarkets that the tax would likely be set at least at 30% if it is to have a meaningful impact.
Fastmarkets’ chrome ore South Africa UG2 concentrates index, basis 42%, cif China settled at $139 per tonne on Tuesday November 3.

An export tax of 30% would increase the latest chrome ore price by around...

Published

Siyi Liu

November 05, 2020

15:52 GMT

Shanghai