Turkish low-carbon ferro-chrome producer Eti Elektrometalurji has reduced its output in response to low demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Etimet, Turkey's only large low-carbon ferro-chrome producer, reduced its output by 50pc at the beginning of May to an annualised production rate of around 18,000-20,000t. This compares with annual production of 36,000t when operating at full capacity.
"In order to avoid needless competition for market share, we decided to reduce our output," Etimet said. "We are an integrated producer and do not face import charges for Europe, so we can be flexible with our costs. Our aim is to produce around 30,000t this year, but it depends on market conditions."
Demand for low-carbon ferro-chrome has been falling for the past two years because of the availability of better quality high-carbon alloy and lower steel production in the EU.
Argus' low-carbon ferro-chrome assessment fell to its lowest point since May 2008 on 30 April at $1.30-1.40/lb ddp Europe, amid intense competition for sales between Russian, Chinese and Kazakh producers. It has since increased slightly to $1.34-1.44/lb ddp because of potential additional steel safeguard measures in the EU and an increase in buying interest.
By Thomas Kavanagh