The European benchmark ferrochrome price for the first quarter of 2021 has been settled at 117.5 US cents per pound, a 3.1% increase from the fourth quarter of 2020.
This is good news for South African embattled ferrochrome producers, including Merafe Resources and Glencore ferroalloy division.
The increase in the European benchmark ferrochrome price is a reflection of the tighter supply following COVID-19 lockdowns.
Eskom electricity price inflation has resulted in serious curtailments of Glencore’s South African ferrochrome business. “Prices in South Africa have escalated 500% over 10 years. Under these types of increases, we will struggle,” said Japie Fullard, head of ferrochrome operations for Glencore in South Africa.
Ferrochrome is the raw material used to produce stainless steel. China is the largest consumer of ferrochrome.