Chinese chromite imports dip in March
Published: Friday, 09 June 2017
China’s demand slowing down in Q1; Buyers unwilling to secure new contracts; Seeking to force market prices down
Imports of chromite products into China posted double-digit
volume declines in February and March, compounded by the slow
buying activity from local importers that has characterised
most of 2017 so far.
Imports of chromite as a whole, including metallurgical and
non-metallurgical chrome materials, showed a steady growth
pattern throughout the second half of 2016, according to China
Following a peak in imports at the beginning of the year,
with January deliveries hitting 1.53m tonnes for a total value
of $446.67m, the rest of the first quarter saw an evident
sequential decline, bearing testimony to the slow trading
situation that has affected the market this year to date.
|Chinese chromite imports (tonnes,
February imports stood at 1.29m tonnes, for a worth of
$425.54m, marking a 16% drop in volume month-on-month (m-o-m)
and a 5% decrease in value m-o-m.
March statistics posted a further decline on the previous
months. At 1.01m tonnes, March saw a 22% drop in imports
against February, and a 34% drop compared with the January
In value terms, March imports generated a total $342.85m
– that was 20% down on the previous month, and 23%
down on January.
At the same time, first-quarter deliveries into China were
much higher compared with Q1 2016 levels, when the chromite
market as a whole was still recovering from a prolonged period
of low prices, overcapacity and sluggish demand that
characterised most of 2015.
Demand gradually improved during 2016, leading to a surge in
imports in H2.
Q1 2017 imports, at 3.83m tonnes, were 81% up on a
year-on-year (y-o-y) basis. In value terms, the quarter
generated $1.215bn in imports compared with $278m in Q1 2016
– a growth of 337%.
This article from the June issue of Industrial Minerals
magazine was first
published online on 9