Chinese ferrochrome and iron ore prices rise
Chinese ferrochrome and iron ore prices rise

20 March 2024 – Prices for ferrochrome and iron ore rose significantly in China yesterday. At the same time, Chinese online retailers are reporting a sharp rise in consumer demand and the Bank of Japan is ending the negative interest rate era after 17 years.

Chinese ferrochrome and iron ore prices rise

As we had already surmised last week, the falling iron ore prices in China were only a short-term correction. Yesterday, Tuesday, iron ore futures ended the trading day up a whopping 5.35%.

Ferrochrome price jumped by 2.9%

At the same time, Chinese high carbon ferrochrome prices also jumped significantly by around 2.9%. This should provide an outlook for the upcoming ferrochrome benchmark prices for Q2 2024 and influence the prices of the 400 stainless steel series in particular.

Consumer demand in Asia picks up

China is experiencing a remarkable upswing in online retail: compared to the previous year, sales rose by 5.5 per cent in the first two months, with the online sector standing out in particular with an increase of 15.3 per cent – far above analysts’ expectations.

This boom could not only increase the advertising revenues of internet companies, but also shows a clear and positive change in consumer demand.

Bank of Japan ends era of negative interest rates

After 17 years, the Bank of Japan has ended the era of negative interest rates by raising the key interest rate slightly to between 0 and 0.1 per cent. Japan is the last industrialised nation to take this step, motivated by significant wage increases in this year’s wage negotiations. This development promises to revitalise Japan’s economic growth, which has been stagnating for decades. The Nikkei 225 reacted positively with a rise of almost one per cent.

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