NEW YORK High-carbon
ferrochrome suppliers are hopeful that a reported rise in the
second-quarter charge chrome benchmark will spur domestic
high-carbon ferrochrome prices, but some are skeptical the
reported number was widely accepted.
"This years negotiations
were a bit of a mess. My understanding is that there is no
uniformly agreed price," one trader said.
producer Aperam and ferrochrome producer Xstrata Plc, Zug,
Switzerland, settled the benchmark at $1.35 per pound, up 20
cents from the first quarter, AMM sister publication
Metal Bulletin reported Wednesday.
This marks a change from
previous years, when ThyssenKrupp AG stainless unit Inoxum took
the lead in consumer-side negotiations, and there are some
doubts as to whether the company would accept a benchmark
negotiated by other parties.
Even with the questions over the
new number, the rise in the reported benchmark has suppliers
hopeful of a rise in high-carbon ferrochrome prices, which are
at $1.15 to $1.20 per pound.
"One supplier told me he expects
us to reach the mid-$1.20s (per pound) in a few weeks on the
back of the benchmark going up," a second trader said.
At the same time, South African
charge chrome producers have cut capacity due to power supply
issues, and at least one domestic supplier bought some
high-carbon product in the spot market recently, sources
Most domestic charge chrome consumers are locked up in
multiyear contracts not affected by the benchmark, while those
subjected to it enjoy hefty discounts, sources told