SHANGHAI, Sep (SMM) - According to customs statistics, China's imports of chrome ore were 1.1564 million mt in August 2022, down 43,400 mt or 3.61% on the month and 77,200 mt or 6.25% on the year. Chrome ore imported from South Africa stood at 1.0105 million mt, up 7,900 mt or 8.46% mt on the month, but down 14,100 mt or 1.37% on the year. Chrome ore imports totalled 10.0849 million mt from January to August 2022, up 60,800 mt or 0.61% year on year.
According to SMM, despite the decline, the prices of chrome ore were still high. The prices of ferrochrome continued to fall, the losses of ferrochrome plants intensified. In addition, the consumption of stainless steel in the early stage was weak, hence the demand for ferrochrome decreased. In this scenario, the ferrochrome plants reduced the production, and the demand for chrome ore reduced. The futures prices of chrome ore fell steadily from April to August. Ferrochrome plants were more cautious about futures procurement, and tended to use spot chrome ore. As of August, terminal consumption was weak, and the market lacked confidence in the follow-up. Therefore, the output of stainless steel and ferrochrome continued to decline, and the demand for chrome ore fell. From May to August, the import volume of chrome ore fell, and the port inventory of chrome ore remained low. Consumption of stainless steel picked up in September, hence stainless steel plants increased the production and ferrochrome prices rose. In this scenario, the chrome ore market sentiment improved, and prices stopped falling. In the later period, low-priced chrome ore will gradually arrive at the port. The port inventory in September increases. It is expected that the prices of chrome ore may fall slightly.