Global flat stainless steel price increases are inevitable in the near term, according to the head of Metal Bulletin Research Alistair Ramsay.

Although supply and demand issues remain, there was a general expectation of an uptick in price levels, he told delegates at Metal Bulletin’s 12th International Stainless & Special Steel Summit in London on Tuesday September 4.

“A recovery is due, it’s due imminently,” Ramsay said.

“Price recoveries are inevitable in the near term, but fundamental imbalances remain,” he said.

On European prices specifically, Ramsay said that imports from Asia were continuing to fill some of the demand, with longer lead times not always resulting in increased prices.

“The rise in apparent consumption in Europe has been met by Asian imports, owing to still comparatively high local prices. Some Asian suppliers are able to fix the price on when the material arrives,” he said. 

Last week, Marcegaglia, Outokumpu and Acerinox announced price hikes for October deliveries.

Elfi Middelbeek