Key takeaways from ICDA’s chromium conference in Turkey

Key takeaways from ICDA’s chromium conference in Turkey

The International Chromium Development Association (ICDA) returned after a three-year absence with its annual chromium industry conference, held in Turkey this year.

Blue View

Turkey is home to an important source of chromium ores and concentrates. While being the fourth-largest mine source, the country is often the second-largest source of seaborn chromite, consumed largely in Chinese ferrochrome furnaces in conjunction with cheaper and lower-grade South African chromite. In terms of ferrochrome production, the country is a minor producer through the Eti Krom plant, owned by Yilderim Group. Turkey is one of the top-5 chromium chemical producers outside of China through Soda Sanaii, however, its chemical operation is largely using chromite fines sourced from South Africa.

Project Blue was invited to deliver its views on the global chromium market at the industry event, which slotted into one of the key concerns voiced: “when will demand recover?”. COVID-19 restrictions in China are still an integral part of weaker demand in the country. While the beginning of 2022 saw stainless steel demand supported by post-covid recovery and restocking, this trend has reversed over the second half of the year. Delegates at the event estimate that stainless steel demand will be down 1-2% y-on-y in 2022 and, in line with Project Blue’s assessment of a post Chinese New Year revival, will recover in 2023. For Europe the industry is expecting ongoing negative growth in 2023, while Indonesia continues to become a more important player.

One of the main issues flagged for the value chain is rising costs, more specifically energy costs. Combined with weak demand, this has put increasing pressure on producers of ores and ferrochrome. With a worsening energy crisis, Europe has slipped into a significant competitive disadvantage position with regard to costs and potential rising imports. With several challenges flagged in South Africa, the largest source of chromite and ferrochrome outside of China, many delegates fear that supply risk remains high on the list of concerns.

  • 28 Oct 2022
  • Chromium
  • Steel & Alloys

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