The Stainless Steel Market Has Never Been More Difficult...

The current state of the stainless steel market is being described as 'the most difficult in history', while some suppliers are calling it 'absolute carnage'. Prices and demand are booming but supplies are extremely low, a combination of factors that continue to exacerbate the problem.

In the week beginning 23rd August, the European market price of cold-rolled stainless steel rose by a further €50/ton (around £43) in response to short supplies. Local steel mills simply cannot meet demand and predict that the earliest availability of products will be at least the end off Q1 of 2022.

Though some offers from Asia are less expensive, difficulties with importing make these offers less attractive. These difficulties include the effects of safeguarding measures along with Chinese anti-dumping duties and other duties designed to prevent nickel exports. With container freight rates increasing this add further pressure.

Though some offers from Asia are less expensive, difficulties with importing make these offers less attractive. These difficulties include the effects of safeguarding measures along with Chinese anti-dumping duties and other duties designed to prevent nickel exports. With container freight continuing upwards this adds further pressure.

Sea Freight rates for containers can be measured using the Drewry World Container Index, this increased by 1.7% w/commencing 04/09/21, 344% Higher Than a Year Ago.

  The high price of stainless steel scrap in Europe has been upheld by low supplies, according to a number of market parti­cipants. Last week in the European market, the CIF import cost of Grade 304 scrap stainless steel rose by 1.9% to 3.1% when compared with the preceding week beginning 16th August.

The situation is much the same in the US, with prices for cold-rolled stainless steel coils continuing to rise throughout August. Stainless steel mills increased prices for both base and alloy surcharges in response. According to some US producers, shipment schedules were at least 12 weeks and, in some cases, as long as 16. The shortage is predicted to continue until the end of 2022 at the earliest.

On 1st November 2021, the trade dispute (Section 232) between Europe and the US is set to be resolved, which is likely to 'restore the flexibility of important trade routes' between the two continents. Some European buyers have expressed concern that, if the US decides to eliminate export tariffs on steel products from the EU, domestic steel prices will skyrocket.

The stainless steel market, dependent as it is on many different and ever-changing factors, has always been changeable but never more so than at the present time. BS Stainless would like to take this opportunity to reassure our clients that we will continue to do everything in our power to provide the shortest lead times and the most competitive pricing structures with absolutely zero compromise on quality.

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NB - information in this article taken from:
https://­www.­yieh.­com/­en/­NewsItem/­128649
https://­www.­yieh.­com/­en/­NewsItem/­128578
https://­www.­yieh.­com/­en/­NewsItem/­128414
https://­www.­yieh.­com/­en/­NewsItem/­128474

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