RESEARCH: Stainless price rally picks up speed

The latest forecasts from Fastmarkets’ team of analysts is ready to view.

We spoke in our previous tracker of stainless steel prices ending 2020 on a high. That trend has continued during early 2021 and, in fact, the upward rally in prices has increased its momentum.

Compared with the monthly price increase of some 5% seen at the end of 2020, prices for grade-304 stainless steel in all major markets have increased by an even-more-impressive 15% since the turn of the year, with prices boosted by rising alloy surcharges and base prices.

The rise in alloy surcharges is an automatic component of stainless steel prices, of course, and reflects changes in the cost of iron and nickel in particular over the past month. These increases are, in turn, directly passed on to the consumer. And surcharges look likely to remain elevated, if not to increase further, through the first half of this year - particularly given the pricing moves seen in the chrome market in January.

Base prices increasing is an interesting phenomenon, however, given that stainless steelmakers in both Europe and the United States have struggled to increase them in any sustained manner since late 2019. That dynamic may now be changing, however, as we discuss in our regional analyses this month.

While not in as strong a position as their counterparts in the carbon steel industry, stainless steelmakers in Europe and the US look set to enjoy rising margins over the coming months as they benefit from reduced competition from imports and some early signs of a pick-up in local demand.

Click here to view the Stainless Steels Tracker in full. If you are not a subscriber, but would like to see a free sample report, please click here.

What to read next
Fastmarkets is proposing a realignment of its dealer selling price for ferrous scrap machine shop turnings in Houston, effective from the September 2022 monthly settlement.
Participants in the US steel market were divided on the impact of a price increase from Nucor’s sheet mill group this week, with some suggesting hot-rolled coil prices could fall further while others were optimistic that announcement could halt - or even reverse — the recent downtrend
Mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) is increasingly emerging as the preferred nickel intermediary product for nickel sulfate producers in China and beyond
Chromite prices rose further in the two weeks to Tuesday May 31 on support from cost pressures and logistical issues in South Africa
UG2/MG chrome ore prices experienced major declines in the week to Tuesday July 12, dropping by $15 per tonne week on week, as the market saw the beginnings of a break in the continuing stalemate of recent weeks
The European charge and high-carbon ferro-chrome benchmark for the third quarter of 2022 has slumped by 16.7% from the previous quarter’s settlement to $1.80 per lb
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.