Indonesian stainless steel cold rolling mill stops production
Indonesian stainless steel cold rolling mill stops production

14 June 2024 – A major Indonesian stainless steel cold rolling mill has announced that it will suspend production for several months. There has been another serious explosion in a nickel smelter in Indonesia’s Morowali Industrial Park and chrome ore and ferrochrome prices have risen significantly in recent weeks.

Indonesian stainless steel cold rolling mill stops production

A large Indonesian stainless steel cold rolling mill with an annual capacity of up to 700,000 MT has announced that it will cease production for at least two months. Some media are even reporting that production could be halted for 80 days.

Speculation on the market: are there missing spre-materials?

There is currently much speculation about the possible reasons for this measure at the Indonesian stainless steel cold rolling mill. These include regular maintenance work and problems with the availability of input material due to a persistent shortage of nickel ore in Indonesia.

Tsingshan Nickel smelter explodes again

According to Asian media reports, another explosion has occurred at the nickel smelter belonging to the Tsingshan Group in the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP), injuring at least two workers. There had already been a serious explosion at the same plant in December 2023, in which several workers were killed. According to the reports, the latest explosion appears to have been caused by the same circumstances that led to the accident in December.

Chrome ore and ferrochrome prices up

Prices for chrome ore from South Africa have risen by up to 6.2% since mid-May 2024. This is said to be due in particular to consistently high demand from China and the stainless steel industry there. The latter has imported significantly more chrome ore and ferrochrome from South Africa to China in recent months.

Turkish chrome ore prices also increased

A similar trend has also been observed for Turkish chrome ore since the beginning of June, which has since risen in price by around 2.8%. The increase in the price of chrome ore lumps has been reversed. In South Africa, they have only risen by just under 2.6%, while chrome ore lumps originating in Turkey have jumped by around 4.8%.

This significant increase in chrome ores is also reflected in Asian ferrochrome prices, which recently rose by more than 2.2% in China.

Following the end of the European ferrochrome benchmark prices, it will be interesting to see what effect these price increases will have in Europe and North America.

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