The average PGM contained metal basket price for the three months ended September 2017 was USD825 (ZAR10 866) per ounce, which is USD33 an ounce higher than the USD792 (ZAR10 443) per ounce achieved in the quarter ended June 2017 and USD50 an ounce higher for the 2017 financial year compared to FY2016. The higher basket prices reflect, in particular, the increase in spot palladium prices, which surpassed the platinum price during the quarter.
With improved liquidity in the market during Q4 FY2017, contracted metallurgical grade chrome concentrate prices increased 17% to USD172 per tonne from USD147 per tonne the previous quarter, bringing the total average realised metallurgical chrome price during FY2017 to USD200 per tonne.
The fundamentals of the global stainless steel market remain sound with continued growth forecast in 2018, supporting demand for chrome units in the form of ferrochrome and chrome ores. Specialty chrome concentrates, which comprised 24.3% of Tharisa's total chrome concentrate production in FY2017 and which supplies the chemical and foundry markets, continue to attract a premium of more than USD30 per tonne above the contracted metallurgical chrome concentrate prices.