INTERNATIONAL Ferro Metals (IFM) posted a 21% rise in third-quarter ferrochrome sales on strong demand in the United States and Asia, and the South African miner said it is upbeat on the long-term outlook for stainless steel.
Global stainless steel production hit an all-time high of 16.4 million tonnes in the first half of 2011, up 3.8% from the same period the previous year.
IFM, which appointed former BHP Billiton manager Christiaan Jordaan as its new chief executive last month to replace David Kovarsky, also said it expects cash flow to improve after its furnaces were back to full capacity.
July-September sales of ferrochrome - used in stainless steel to prevent corrosion - were up 21% to 41 929 tonnes.
However, quarterly ferrochrome production fell 26% to 31 637 tonnes, as the miner was hampered by a shutdown of two of its furnaces due to roof repairs.
Ferrochrome inventories were down to 14 983 tonnes from 25 276 tonnes last year.
IFM shares, which have shed almost half their value over the past year, closed at 17.5 pence on Monday on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the firm at £96.71m ($154.3m).