Stainless Steel Prices Continue to Rise

In common with many other metals, the price of stainless steel continues on its upward trajectory, a trend that looks set to continue throughout Q1 and into Q2 of 2021. This increase is being driven by a number of factors.

There has been a marked increase in demand for stainless steel: this demand, though primarily from Asian countries, is growing all over the world. Growing demand results in lower availability causing companies to stock up and further reducing availa­bility. This naturally causes prices to rise.

Freight shortages, caused in part by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused the cost of moving both raw materials and finished products to rise. This extra cost has been added on to the basic price of such materials.

A key driver in the rising price of stainless steel is the related price of nickel. Though the bulk of stainless steel is made from iron, a metal which is compa­ratively inexpensive, between 8% and 10% of the composition of stainless steel is nickel. Although this seems a relatively small figure, the current high value of nickel as traded on the LME (almost £13,000 per tonne) has a huge effect on stainless steel pricing. This price means that nickel is currently experiencing a commodity boom, which is being further driven by ever-increasing demand for nickel used in the production of electric vehicle batteries.

A recent report from Roskill, prepared on behalf of the European Commission, revealed that the demand from nickel from the electric vehicle sector is expected to be 2.6 million tonnes by 2040, a massive increase from the 92,000 tonnes figure of 2020. The report concluded that: "automotive electri­fica­tion is expected to represent the single-largest growth sector for nickel demand over the next twenty years."

As one of the largest independent UK suppliers of stainless steel products to the global market, BS Stainless boasts exceptional purchasing power, which allows us to keep our prices consistently competitive. Throughout these uncertain times, you can rely on BS Stainless to continue providing premium-quality products at the fairest market price.

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