Stainless Steel prices increasing

Nickel prices hit 13 months high this week, following increased demands and potential shortages the main market for Nickel is stainless steel production. This has increased both prices for stainless steel and demand for new material. Over the past couple of years mills have been making big loses and have cut back production to a minimum, this sudden change in price has resulted in shortfalls in many materials.

Nickel export bans from Indonesia have been long expected but are finally starting to effect supply this combined with one of the other key producers Russia heading into uncertain political territory supply could be an issue. Indonesia is a key supplier to the strong Chinese market this shortfall will have to be made up by scrap which in turn will drive stainless steel prices higher.

Over the past few years manufacturers have become used to short lead times and prices at historical lows. Distributors were over stocked so there was no need for manufacturers to plan to far ahead. Now all of a sudden manufacturers are having to pass on higher raw material costs and with all surplus stock taken out of the market prices are on the up. The European market sometimes appears to offer more stability with monthly surcharge compared to Asian spot prices, this can also allow the increases to creep up and the first end users see is when new surcharges are announced towards the end of the month. Based on current levels this could result in an increase of £100 - £200 per tonne dependent on grade, add to this trader and processors margins this will add more to delivered prices in May and June for stainless steel.

You can keep in touch with the latest daily Nickel price on our web site home page http://­www.­bsstainless.­co.­uk/

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