Stainless surcharges set to soar in April

Stainless steel raw material surcharges for flat-rolled products in the United States will rise sharply for all flat stainless grades in April on surging nickel and iron costs, while the pattern of pricing shifts among the four producers is poised to diverge more widely, according to surcharge notices published by producers

Alloy costs

On March 18, North American Stainless (NAS) notified customers the nickel premium in its stainless surcharges for April would be calculated at $12.60 per lb ($27,777.88 per tonne), addressing concerns about pricing that arose when soaring nickel prices from a short squeeze cause the LME nickel trade to fail to settle and closed the trade for an extended period.

Iron surcharges also rose significantly while molybdenum rose modestly. The price of chrome was flat at NAS, Outokumpu Stainless, and Allegheny Technologies Inc, but slightly higher at Cleveland Cliffs.

The increase in the April surcharge for Type 201 product ranges from 15.41-25.55 cents per lb. For Type 304, the gains range from 24.13-38.15 cents per lb. For Type 316, the surcharge hike ranges from 28.71-43.27 cents per lb. Surcharges for Type 430 material are expected to rise between 6.35-13.59 cents per lb.

The London Metal Exchange’s three-month nickel contract closed the official session on Tuesday, September 29 at $32,025 per tonne, up 32.12% from February 25 when it was $24,240 per tonne ($11.00 per lb), and up 40.46% from $22,800 per tonne ($10.34 per lb) on January 26.

Fastmarkets’ monthly assessment for stainless steel 304 cold-rolled sheet, fob mill US was $217 per hundredweight ($4,340 per short ton) on March 10, up by 4.33% from $208 per cwt on February 10 and by 5.85% from $205 per cwt on January 10. Prices for 304 are at its highest since August 2008, when the assessment stood at $222.74 per cwt and are likely to top that level in April with the sharp rise in surcharges.

Flat-rolled stainless steel surcharges

(in cents per lb)
Allegheny Technologies IncApril 2022March 2022Change
Type 201119.95101.06↑ 18.89
Type 304169.61138.89↑ 30.72
Type 316232.11195.17↑ 36.94
Type 43056.9650.61↑ 6.35
Cleveland Cliffs Steel Corp
Type 201117.1091.55↑ 25.55
Type 304165.48127.33↑ 38.15
Type 316226.13182.86↑ 43.27
Type 43055.9042.31↑ 13.59
North American Stainless Steel
Type 201108.0792.66↑ 15.41
Type 304154.80130.67↑ 24.13
Type 316214.84186.13↑ 28.71
Type 43052.0145.65↑ 6.36
Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC
Type 201114.4395.82↑ 18.61
Type 304160.72130.65↑ 30.07
Type 316222.26186.11↑ 36.15
Type 43052.0145.65↑ 6.36
©Fastmarkets - Compiled by Fastmarkets based on company data
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