As-delivered, prealloyed Cr or Cr-Mo steel powders are covered by an iron oxide layer in which islands of more stable oxides are dispersed. By sintering in H2, at least part of the oxygen bonded to iron can be removed in the range of 300-400°C. Annealing in inert atmosphere at only slightly higher temperatures however results in transfer of the oxygen to more stable compounds, eliminating the low-temperature reduction peak in favour of the m28 (CO) peak at T>900°C. This indicates that even heat treatment at usual delubrication temperatures is sufficient to cause internal gettering within the powder particles, thus making oxygen removal more difficult. On the other hand, however, the larger quantity of oxygen is always present within more stable oxides anyhow, and therefore sintering at temperatures is preferable at which carbothermal reduction is sufficiently effective to reduce both the originally present stable oxides and those generated through internal gettering.