Purchasing.com reports that chrome prices have recently dipped from their 10-year highs, citing reduced demand from stainless producers. Analysts say they can't predict when demand will increase. During another decline in early 2002, prices dropped as low as 28 cents per pound, their lowest level in 30 years.Currently, standard high-carbon ferrochrome is priced at 52 cents per pound in the North American market, well below the 76-cent average for 2003 and 2004. In the second quarter of this year, however, prices went as high as 77 cents.
Official producer prices for charge chrome in global markets remains in a range of 66 cents, whereas prices for freely traded material have declined to 57 cents. Still, market researchers believe that the cyclical nature of the market will continue for some months. A possible ban on Indian charge chrome exports, currently being considered in New Delhi, could dash those predictions, constricting supply to traders and drives prices higher.