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Asian cold-rolled stainless steel prices continued to rise in the week to December 11, as mills were forced to increase prices to reflect higher raw material costs, including nickel, which rose above the $17,000/mt mark.

Asian stainless cold-rolled coils recover as nickel rises
Asian stainless cold-rolled coils recover as nickel rises

Cold-rolled stainless steel up $80/mt from the previous week

S&P Global Platts assessed 304 grade 2mm 2B stainless CRC at $2,100/mt CFR in East and Southeast Asian ports on December 11, up $80/mt from the previous week.

The official nickel spot price on the London Metal Exchange settled at $16,807/mt on December 10, up $870/mt from the previous week, and the price rose to over $17,000/mt on December 11.

The stainless steel spot market rallied

The stainless steel spot market rallied, led by stronger nickel and the futures market, with spot prices in southern China rising by 600 yuan/mt ($92/mt) week-on-week. With the end of the year approaching, traders wanted to focus mainly on liquidating their inventories for cash flow and the rise may not be as strong as earlier in the quarter, a China-based trader said.

Supply levels were around $2,050/mt FOB China for immediately deliverable cargoes, but it is hard to secure export business due to high freight costs for container transportation, market sources said.

Taiwan-based mills suspended bidding on December 11 2020

Meanwhile, Taiwan-based mills suspended bidding on December 11 due to uncertainty caused by the rise in nickel prices. Mills were considering a $50-$100/mt price increase to counter the high raw material costs. A regional trader said mill prices would be $2,100-$2,200/mt CFR.

On December 11, the most actively traded stainless steel contract for February 2021 on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed at 13,930 yuan/mt, up 610 yuan/mt or 4.6% from the previous week.

Source: spglobal.com


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