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Ferrochrome prices fall but bottom seen

Keywords: Tags  high-carbon ferrochrome, Thorsten Schier


NEW YORK — High-carbon ferrochrome prices have declined further as dwindling demand forces sellers to cut their prices.

"There’s not a tremendous amount going on," one trader said.

Prices are now between 94 and 99 cents per pound—a 34-month low—down from 95 cents to $1.01 previously, with truckload sales of material reported across AMM’s range in the past week.

Prices have been crimped in recent months by falling demand for the material, particularly from the stainless steel industry, and more-than-ample supply.

Sources do not expect tags to fall much further, however, as current price levels are already at or below cost for some producers.

"Something has to give," one producer source said. "You’re just moving cash (at these numbers)."

While demand has fallen, imports of the material have climbed significantly in recent months, with a 16-month high of 63,302 tonnes making their way into the U.S. market in September compared with only 13,797 tonnes in the same month last year, according to the latest U.S. Customs figures. But year-to-date imports of 355,251 tonnes remained 4.8 percent below 372,980 tonnes in the fist nine months of 2011.

While domestic prices were lower again this past week, prices for the material have risen recently in Europe and China, according to AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.


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