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Impact of shutting Russian ferrochrome plant limited by seasonal demand lull

Tokyo (Platts)--7 Dec 2015 216 am EST/716 GMT


Losing 30,000 mt of production of high-carbon ferrochrome following the shutting of the Tikhvin plant in Russia for six months after a fire had limited impact because of a seasonal demand lull, market sources said Monday.

"There is limited pre-holiday buying," said a Japanese trader.

"Demand also keeps going down due to the production curtailments at steel industries in the US and China for destocking," said a producer.

As the 120,000 mt/year Tikhvin plant is expected to remain shut for another six months, market sources said prices could go up in the first quarter of 2016 when more buyers are expected.

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Offer for high-carbon ferrochrome with minimum 66% chrome, which is similar to the Tikhvin material with up to 69.5% chrome, was reported at 95-100 cents/lb CIF Japan Friday, compared with 85-86 cents/lb CIF Asia before the plant was shut.

The 95-100 cents/lb CIF offer was for several container loads of 10-50 mm lumps with minimum 66% chrome, maximum 1% silicon, maximum 8.5% carbon, maximum 0.02% titanium, maximum 0.02% phosphorous and maximum 0.05% sulfur, for prompt loading from a ferrochrome plant in Europe. But no deal was done.

The Tikhvin plant near St Petersburg was shut November 26 after a fire.

Officials of Yidirim, the Turkish producer that owns the Tikhvin plant, are expected to reach the plant site this week for damage assessment.

"Official investigation by Russian authorities and insurance companies are continuing. The cause of the fire is not known, but it looks like a normal work accident based on current findings so far," a company official said.

--Mayumi Watanabe, mayumi.watanabe@platts.com
--Edited by E Shailaja Nair, shailaja.nair@platts.com

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