FOCUS: Electricity restrictions in China shake up chrome ore buying patterns

A regional shake-up of ferro-chrome production in China this year has sparked changes in chrome ore usage and in the geographical pattern of demand.

High-carbon ferro-chrome output in Inner Mongolia, China’s leading ferro-alloy producing region, fell in the first eight months of the year amid lingering energy-related production cuts and electricity usage limits.
With lower alloy production, ore purchasing also slowed, which resulted in declining ore stocks at Tianjin port, northern China, where smelters in the autonomous region would normally ship their cargoes.
Stocks at Tianjin dropped to roughly 2.07 million tonnes in early September, down by 28% from around 2.86 million tonnes in January, according to data submitted by market participants.
The fall in stock levels in Tianjin came after some cargoes were transported to other ports in the country where smelting has ramped up, such as Guizhou, Shanxi and Sichuan provinces, in the south of the country.

“Because of the adequate ore availability here, southern buyers would come here and source material if the total costs - buying and...

Published

Jon Stibbs

Siyi Liu

September 24, 2021

13:50 GMT

London, Shanghai