European stainless flats prices hold steady despite economic turmoil

Base prices for flat-rolled stainless steel in Europe largely held steady in the past week, market participants told Metal Bulletin.

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Falling demand and concerns over economic stability are starting to put downward pressure on 304 cold rolled stainless sheet prices, they added.

“There is not a lot of demand coming out of the market,” a trader told Metal Bulletin.

Grade 304 cold rolled stainless sheet in 2mm gauge is €1,100-1,150 ($1,383-1,446) per tonne delivered for August rolling, unchanged from last week and for July production.

A second trader reported offers for the same product at €1,050-1,100 per tonne delivered, although Metal Bulletin had not heard such prices from other sources.

While the first trader did not hear of the lower offer prices, he admitted seasonal factors would make it likely that negotiations with mills for rolled material into July and August – due to start in the next two weeks – could result in lower prices for the flat-rolled product.

“Prices could come under pressure now that summer is here,” the first trader said.

However, he added that prices are likely to start moving up in October and November.

Concerns over the economy Europe are also weighing on market sentiment, the traders agreed.

The euro was worth an average of $1.2579 on Thursday, having recovered from its June 1 low of $1.2363, but down from $1.2811 on May 15, according to Oanda.com

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