Chromium: A very reduced ferrochrome capacity restart after the COVID-19 lockdown

Merafe Resources

In South Africa, Merafe Resources has announced that its joint venture with Glencore’s South African chromium assets – the Lion ferrochrome smelter and chromite mines, located in the eastern Bushveld – have recommenced after COVID-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, the Boshoek, Rustenburg, Wonderkop and Lydenburg smelters, and the Kroondal mine, will remain on care and maintenance.

Roskill View

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the world’s two leading ferrochrome producers, Glencore-Merafe and Samancor Chrome, had reduced their ferrochrome guidance for 2020. This would have already placed Kazchrome, owned by ERG, as the leading ferrochrome producer for the year. However, the 2020 ferrochrome guidance for both South African companies continues to be corrected downwards as the year progresses, and as COVID-19 accelerates the rebalancing of the oversupplied chromium industry. South African output in 2020 is likely to fall to below 2Mt for the first time since the late 1990s, equivalent to less than 50% of installed plant capacity.

Roskill will publish its NEW Chromium: Outlook to 2030, 16th Edition report in June 2020, giving a focussed review of the changes occurring across the chromium industry, including the impacts of COVID-19 on short-, medium- and long-term market trends. For more information or to subscribe, click here.


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This article was written by Nils Backeberg. Please get in touch below if you wish to discuss further:

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