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DLA makes first ferrochrome sale of 2012

Keywords: Tags  high-carbon ferrochrome, DLA Strategic Materials, low-carbon ferrochrome, tungsten, GfE-MIR Holdings, Varomet, Glencore, Thorsten Schier


NEW YORK — DLA Strategic Materials sold 1,000 tons of high-carbon ferrochrome (65.03-percent chrome contained) from its depot in Point Pleasant, W.Va., last month, its first sale of the material since May last year.

The Fort Belvoir, Va.-based Defense Department agency also sold 711 tons of low-carbon ferrochrome during the month.

The DLA received a total of $3.04 million for the ferrochrome sales to Zug, Switzerland-based GfE-MIR Holdings AG, parent of White Plains, N.Y.-based ferroalloys trader Varomet Corp.; Stamford, Conn.-based Glencore Ltd; and Cincinnati-based Hickman, Williams & Co.

The agency also sold 190,000 pounds of tungsten ores and concentrates for $2.7 million last month to an undisclosed buyer.

The DLA resumed offering high-carbon ferrochrome in October after a 16-month absence from the market. Market sources expected the sale to have little impact on high-carbon ferrochrome prices in general, as the material sold has a chrome-to-carbon ratio of roughly 10 to 1 (65.03-percent chrome, 5.90-percent carbon), a composition that usually fetches a premium to standard high-carbon ferrochrome.

"It’s a very special grade of material," one trader said.

Market sources estimated the selling price for the high-carbon ferrochrome at about $1 per pound.

An agency spokesman declined to comment on the price level for the sale but said that "if we don’t think we get what we think is the equivalent of value, we don’t award." He added that the sale was "fairly well-subscribed."

Domestic high-carbon ferrochrome prices currently are at a three-year low between 93 and 99 cents per pound.


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