Japan steel mills begin trial use of Vietnam high-carbon ferrochrome
Tokyo (Platts)--26Nov2012/443 am EST/943 GMT
At least two steelmakers in Japan have begun to use high-carbon
ferrochrome of Vietnamese origin on a trial basis at their mills, following
the first shipment to Japan in March, Yoshitaka Murobushi of Advanced
Material Japan said Monday.
Vietnamese ferrochrome producer Nam Viet Chromit was initially focused
on exports to China, but due to poor demand there it started to export to
Japan, said Murobushi, a ferroalloy sales representative at AMJ.
"We have been delivering samples to Japanese mills since last year, and
this year, we are delivering larger cargoes to be used for actual steel
production," Murobushi said.
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Japan's South African ferrochrome imports so far account for half of the
country's consumption of 750,000 mt/year. Its second largest supplier is
Kazakhstan and the third, India.
Steelmakers in the country, however, said that they were looking at
diversifying their ferrochrome supply sources due to limited electricity
supply in South Africa, which in turn leads to higher costs.
"Nam Viet Chromit's power costs were 60 cents/kWh during the day and 36
cents/kWh during night hours in October. Power costs in South Africa were 70
cents/kWh," Murobushi said.
Nam Viet Chromit operates a 70,000 mt/year ferrochrome plant, which was
built in 2009. This year's output is seen at 30,000-35,000 mt as exports to
China falter, Murobushi said.
The plant produces high-carbon lumpy ferrochrome with 50-60% chrome
content, maximum 8.5% carbon and 2-3.5% silicon, with sizes ranging from
According to Japanese customs data, the country has imported 239 mt of
high-carbon ferrochrome from Vietnam over January-September.
--Mayumi Watanabe, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy,m email@example.com