Asian stainless steel prices rebound in January

Stainless steel import prices in Asia have risen around $50 in January, tracking higher nickel prices and stronger trader sentiment.

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Stainless steel import prices in Asia have risen by around $50 in January, tracking higher nickel prices and stronger trader sentiment.

Purchases of 304 cold rolled coil have been reported in the range $2,800-2,950 per tonne, up from $2,800-2,900 per tonne in late December.

Stainless hot rolled coil prices are at $2,700-2,750, up from 2,660-2,680 per tonne in late December.

“We have pushed up our prices by $50 on average in January, following nickel prices,” a stainless exporter in Taiwan, who mainly ships to east Asian destinations, said.
Import prices of stainless steel in Asia have been falling since March 2011. In late December prices were their lowest level since January 2010.

“Our export prices rose $50-60 since the beginning of January due to rising nickel prices, but trading volume is very low,” a stainless exporter in China who mainly exports to South Korea and Taiwan said.

The market has become more optimistic since the rebound in LME nickel prices since late December.

“Exports from the Asian market to eurozone countries are picking up slightly from January, as sentiment among stockists is warming up,” a stainless steel importer in South Korea said, although he added that he was waiting for the right moment to restock, as nickel prices are unlikely to plunge again.

“The deadlines for the Europe debts are between late February and early March, so the politicians have to solve this problem before that,” he said.

Taigang also raised its stainless export prices by $60, with the price of its 304 2B 2mm cold rolled coil at $2,960 per tonne for March delivery and hot-rolled coil at $2,810 per tonne.

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