Alloy surcharges charged by most stainless steel mills in the EU will decline over the March/April period. This will be the result of lower ferro-chrome contract prices. We estimate that the figures used by the majority of steelmakers for grade 304 cold rolled sheet will fall to near €800 per tonne. This is a decrease of €150 on the January average value.
It is reported that ferro-chrome contracts have been settled at approximately $US0.8 per pound. This compares with the current number of just below $US2. Decreases in ferro-chrome costs affect all grades of stainless steel. This is unlike fluctuations in the nickel market which mainly influence austenitic grades.