Currently, over 12 million tons of Ferro-Chrome are produced worldwide every year. A huge part of this production comes from large countries with countless resources like South Africa and China, while significant chromium and ferrochrome manufacturers are also Kazakhstan, India and Russia.
But in this important market and with a very strong competition in quality and trading, even a small country such as Albania has managed to take its place of honor in the podium.
In fact, through AlbChrome, the Albanian product is currently exported to 52 different countries worldwide. Albchrome's main market remains Europe, where the most developed industrial countries have the biggest share in importing this item from our country.
What is even more important is that Albanian chrome is well-ranked in the group of countries with the highest quality in the world for this mineral. Along with Albania, countries such as Sweden, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Russia are also on the list.
To this end came Afarak Group, a group with activity in the mining and chrome manufacturing sector, specialized in Southern Europe and South Africa. The company is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki (AFAGR) and London Stock Exchange (AFRK).
There have been numerous investments made by AlbChrome that have made Albanian Ferro-Chrome among the most competitive in the world.
The chromium quality itself, but also the company's decision to target the highest possible quality of "Made in Albania" Ferro-Chrome, has made it able to reach the global ladders.
Albchrome's decision to focus on quality rather than cheaper costs and the blind goal of profit, has made it possible to achieve the highest parameters in extracting the final product.
Even AlbChrome's marketing and Product engineering have been the ones that have made the difference in this sector, where global competition is very strong
"We have differentiated the product according to market demands, identifying and targeting the market segments with less competition and where a higher price is paid. The focus has always been on raw materials and the technological process to guarantee a premium product for our customers "- AlbChrome managers stated.
Table 1.1: Ferro-chrome quality, according to Afarak Group, where Albania is ranked in the highest band, with countries such as Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey and Sweden
Dynamic and successful marketing and unstoppable expansion of sales channels all over the world have made Albanian chrome to achieve levels previously unrecognized, thanks to AlbChrome. According to the 2018 government figures, in Albania 520,000 tons of chrome were processed, compared to 400,000 tons processed before the 1990s. According to the same source, in 2018 60,000 tons of Ferro-Chrome were produced, a significant increase compared to 38,500 tons that were produced in 1988 and 23,864 tons that were produced in 2010, adding 48 million $ to the national economy.
Albanian chrome plunges into the delicate Japanese market
The entry of the Albanian chromium into the Japanese market is to be emphasized, because it is very difficult to penetrate that market, and it is even more difficult to maintain the position due to too high standard and quality demands.
But Albchrome has succeeded in creating a very serious reputation in the world today, talking about the industry where it operates, as the company is known as a sustainable, high quality and absolutely credible manufacturer.
Albchrome manufactures a Carbon Ferro-Chrome of superior quality. Since it was taken over by Balfin Group in 2013, high carbon Ferro-Chrome sales doubled in 2016 and are expected to triple by 2019.
Albchrome produced over 47,000 tons of Ferro-Chrome during 2017.
This figure is expected to reach 75,000 tons in the years 2019-2022.
86% of this mineral is exported to Europe, 10% to the US and Canada and 4% to Asia.
AlbChrome among the 5 best Ferro-Chrome manufacturers in the world
The Metalbulletin magazine has listed Albchrome as one of the top five Ferro-Chrome manufacturers in the world. This UK-based magazine is the largest magazine and specialized in publishing information on transactions, prices and achievements in the metal industry, including Ferro-Chrome.
Since 2013, Balfin Group has invested through AlbChrome a total of 43.5 million USD, of which 28.5 million in the Chromium mine in Bulqize, 11 million at the Ferro-Chrome plant in Burrel and 4 million at the Ferro-Chrome plant in Elbasan. Investments are ongoing and it is foreseen that by 2021 they will reach to 60.