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 Inc April 2022 March 2022 Change
Type 201 119.95 101.06 ↑ 18.89
Type 304 169.61 138.89 ↑ 30.72
Type 316 232.11 195.17 ↑ 36.94
Type 430 56.96 50.61 ↑ 6.35
Cleveland Cliffs Steel Corp
Type 201 117.10 91.55 ↑ 25.55
Type 304 165.48 127.33 ↑ 38.15
Type 316 226.13 182.86 ↑ 43.27
Type 430 55.90 42.31 ↑ 13.59
North American Stainless Steel
Type 201 108.07 92.66 ↑ 15.41
Type 304 154.80 130.67 ↑ 24.13
Type 316 214.84 186.13 ↑ 28.71
Type 430 52.01 45.65 ↑ 6.36
Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC
Type 201 114.43 95.82 ↑ 18.61
Type 304 160.72 130.65 ↑ 30.07
Type 316 222.26 186.11 ↑ 36.15
Type 430 52.01 45.65 ↑ 6.36
©Fastmarkets – Compiled by Fastmarkets based on company data
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