International Ferro Metals’ ferrochrome output up 71% in Q4 over Q3
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On January 24, International Ferro Metals (LSE: IFL), South African producer of ferrochrome, released its production results for the three months up to December 31, 2011.
Accordingly, International Ferro Metals produced 54,142 mt of ferrochrome during the quarter in question, rising 15 percent compared to the corresponding quarter of 2010 and up 71 percent compared to the previous quarter. Ferrochrome sales volumes were up 39 percent from the previous quarter and down 22 percent from the corresponding period of last year, amounting to 58,389 mt for the three months in question.
International Ferro Metals' ferrochrome inventory was 10,737 mt on December 31, down from the 14,983 mt recorded at the end of the previous quarter and down from 14,487 mt at the same time last year. Net cash balance was ZAR 458 million ($57.33 million) on December 31, up from a net cash balance of ZAR 367 million ($46.47 million) on September 30, 2011.
According to International Ferro Metals' statement, stainless steel mills remained cautious during the quarter maintaining relatively low inventory levels in the midst of the current euro zone debt crisis. In addition, IFL noted that stainless steel mill capacity utilization remained at lower levels in Europe at 60-70 percent due to the crisis, compared to 80-85 percent in the US. In Asia, mills were at relatively constant capacity utilization levels throughout the quarter.
Commenting on the update, IFL chief executive Chris Jordaan said, " The furnace roof rebuild project was successfully completed on time and on budget, with the furnaces ramping up to full load during the quarter with no water leaks, improved furnace efficiencies and reduced costs. Management is pleased with this outcome and has further strengthened its active marketing program, recording new business wins in the US and higher volumes in existing markets to drive demand for increased production."