South Africa is on track to become an exporter of chrome ore,
rather than ferrochrome, Gerhard Pariser, director of research
at Heinz H. Pariser Alloy Metals & Steel Market Research
GbR, told AMM sister publication Metal
doesnt mean that South African ferrochrome production
will vanish, he said on the sidelines of Metal
Bulletins Chromite Conference in Johannesburg Sept.
"The question will
rather be what market share South African ferrochrome can
retain," Pariser added.
Chrome ore exports
from South Africa have increased to about 50 percent of the
countrys chrome over the past 10 years from about 12
percent and beneficiated chrome supply to market, he told
delegates during a presentation.
China has taken almost
80 percent of chrome ore globally traded, according to current
data, Pariser said.
"South Africa is
supplying and China is buying," he said, adding that the
largest increase in chrome ore sales from South Africa was from
UG2 sales, up almost 46 percent over the past 10 years.
There has been an
18.5-percent increase in ore exports from integrated
ferrochrome producers over the past 10 years, as well as a
31.8-percent increase in exports from independent mines over
the past decade, Pariser said.
As chrome ore flowing
into China translates into growing ferrochrome output there,
South Africas ferrochrome output is decreasing.
shows ore and concentrate supply to be more profitable than
ferrochrome," Pariser said.
"The question of what
model South Africa will adopt has been looming the past five
years, but hasnt been answered. What we see as analysts,
looking at data and talking to people, are signs pointing to
South Africa becoming an ore supplier," he added.
A version of this
article was first published in AMM sister publication Metal