Ferrochromium is more familiar as ferrochrome. It is a chromium alloy which contains about 30 to 50% of the iron. There is a considerable variation in ferrochromium depending on its specific application in the various end-use industries. Ferrochromium is usually used for incorporating iron into steel that has various applications. Ferrochromium is manufactured by applying various metallurgical processes from the chromite ore. Ferrochromium is mainly produced in the electric furnace by using chromium ore, iron or iron ore and carbon. In some cases, the anthracite coal is also used in the manufacturing process of ferrochromium. The production of steel is the largest consumer of ferrochromium. The production of stainless steel is one of the major applications of the ferrochromium. Ferrochromium having a chromium content of about 10 to 20% is widely used in manufacturing the stainless steel. Ferrochromium is available in various forms such as charge chromium, ferrochromium-silica, silicochromium, chromium silicide and low carbon among others. The use of these terms to describe the form of ferrochromium varies from country to country.
The growing stainless steel industry is expected to boost the overall growth of the ferrochromium market. The increasing demand for stainless steel for hostile industrial applications is expected to augment the overall growth of the ferrochromium market. The growing demand for the high end stainless steel grade especially in the various critical fields of the emerging infrastructure of the oil and gas, water treatment, nuclear plant, thermal power plant and desalination plant is expected to boost the global demand for ferrochromium. The type of ferrochromium differs with the type of the stainless steel manufactured.
China and India are expected to be the emerging market economies to drive the overall consumption of the ferrochromium market. China and India are expected to witness an increase in the production capacity in order to be self sufficient for supplying the raw material to the stainless steel manufacturers. The developing technology for producing stainless steel coupled with the increase in the scrap availability is expected to further enhance the ferrochromium market growth. South Africa is expected to be one of the major producers of ferrochromium in the world. Owing to the easy availability of the raw materials there is a huge production capacity for manufacturing ferrochromium in these countries. Russia and China are also emerging to be the major producers of ferrochromium. In the coming years, China is expected to surpass South Africa in the production of ferrochromium despite the absence of raw material resources in China. There is a decrease in the production of ferrochromium in South Africa owing to the various challenges related to the power supply are faced by the ferrochromium manufacturers. China is expected to grow as a major producer as well as consumer of the stainless steel market. In the previous years, China produced about 50% of the world’s stainless steel. Thus, China is expected to boost the overall growth o the ferrochromium market.
Fesil Sales S.A., Vostok-Zaporozhe, Beicang Hou and FACOR Group among others are some of the key participants of the ferrochromium market. These companies mainly focus on increasing the production capacities. The increase in the production capacity will help in achieving economies of scale which in turn would give competitive advantage to the producers to sustain in the market as well as to achieve greater market share.
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