HONG KONG Ferrochrome
suppliers and stainless steel producer Aperam SA have set the
second-quarter European benchmark price in the first round of
talks since usual negotiator Inoxum Group was acquired by
Finnish producer Outokumpu Oyj.
The benchmark ferrochrome price
is negotiated every quarter through discussions between Xstrata
Plcalong with marketing partner Glencore International
Plcand a leading European stainless steel mill.
Traditionally, the benchmark was
settled with Germany-based ThyssenKrupp AGs former
stainless unit, Inoxum, which was bought by stainless group and
ferrochrome producer Outokumpu last year.
Market participants had long
warned that Inoxum would not be an acceptable negotiator after
it became part of Outokumpu because it would be both a producer
and a consumer of ferrochrome.
Luxembourg-based Aperam was
expected to step in because it did the same in the second
quarter of 2012, when ThyssenKrupp was in negotiations with
Outokumpu. Its involvement then indicated that Aperam would be
more active in future benchmark discussions, although
ThyssenKrupp returned to its usual role in each of the next
The second-quarter benchmark
increased 14.5 cents to $1.27 per pound due to tighter South
African supply as Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the countrys
state energy group, struck power buyback deals with all major
Aperam declined to
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.