Stainless Steel Prices increases on their way

The decline of the steel industry has been well documented recently, especially with the woes of TATA and many other steel companies worldwide. The Stainless Steel market has also been through a difficult period and while demand has seen pockets of growth issues such as over-supply, decline in oil prices effecting projects and low nickel prices have all added pressures.

Now there seems to be some optimism of increasing prices lead by the Chinese market. A recent revival in nickel prices has had a small effect but a much larger impact is being caused by China and also Korea. There are two factors coming into effect, firstly Chinese local demand for stainless steel has been weak and falling for some time, now this seems to have been reversed. This may be due to government releasing new developments over the past 1 - 2 years that are now bearing fruits. This has resulted in mills and traders focussing on this market that is both strong and resulting in a higher price. This is also a better option for mills as there are anti-dumping duties imposed on stainless steel export to Europe.

The second factor effecting price is the growth of carbon steel prices. Companies such as POSCO of Korea produce both carbon steel and stainless steel. Strong price increase of at least 20% have resulted in their focus being on the more profitable carbon steel production. As a result this is starting to lead in production shortfalls of stainless steel which in turn increases upward price pressure.

All of the above will help support the European mills. They have recently started to announce small base price increases. With prices from China increasing as much as $200 per tonne this could lead to European stainless steel price increases of around €180 per tonne by June.

Beyond this if the market remains strong this could prop up Nickel demand and long term lead to further increases, so now is the time to stock up. Please contact our sales team with a view to supporting you with your on going schedule of stainless steel or +44 (0)1772 337555 

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