The current question is no longer, “What is the price of stainless steel?” but “Can I get sheets or coils at all?”
This is exactly the one question that purchasers of stainless steel sheets and coils are asking themselves. For several weeks now, prices for steel and stainless steel have been rising worldwide. Demand has jumped unexpectedly. And large quantities of material are in demand, especially in the automotive industry.
- Stainless steel mills not at full capacity
- Nickel prices through the roof
- Additional challenges in the freight business
Stainless steel mills not at full capacity
However, stainless steel mills have not yet returned to full capacity. Many blast furnaces have been shut down as a result of the Corona pandemic. The shortage on the market is also playing into the hands of manufacturers. They can currently drive up prices.
EU steel prices to rise, imports to fall further
Assofermet Acciai even goes so far as to say that the European steel market is in a state of panic.
Further rise in U.S. hot-rolled coil prices expected
For the United States, hot-rolled coil prices are also expected to rise sharply. Here, too, mills are driving prices up. Potential for $1,000/mt is expected in the US and probably even higher in Canada.
Stainless Steel: Producers cautious on capacity expansion
There are also fears that Chinese stainless steel stocks could run dry in the coming months.
Nickel prices through the roof
The mills are being supported by a sharp rise in nickel prices.
Asian stainless cold-rolled coils recover as nickel rises
In Asia, mills are already raising prices to cover higher material costs, including nickel. On the London Metal Exchange, the nickel price has already risen to over $17,000/ mt.
London nickel climbs to 14-month high on fears of supply shortages
Nickel contracts on the Shanghai Futures Exchange even rose to over $20,000 per mt.
Cold-rolled stainless steel up $92/ mt from the previous week
In China, prices of cold-rolled stainless steel have risen by up to $92/ mt. According to one of our sources, in some cases even by over $150/ mt.
Additional challenges in the freight business
It has already been apparent for a few weeks that freight rates are rising. This is also due to the pandemic situation this year. There are hardly any containers or free freight spaces to be found. Freight rates are almost only offered on a daily basis. This has led to the fact that almost only FOB can be offered.
Container freight rates: Looking Ahead
Freight rates have not even increased in the process, but have remained constant. However, the necessary material is not where it should be, and the surge in demand is driving prices up.
Container freight rates from Asia rise to new highs – ‘it’s gone crazy’
It is also reported that freight rates from Asia to Europe have risen significantly. Some shippers have even closed their order books for weeks. Rising freight rates are also expected for the United States.
The market for stainless steel and steel is currently somewhat out of joint worldwide. Prices are rising and international producers are running out of available material. While the mills have not yet returned to full capacity.
This picture has been emerging for several weeks. In November, the media already reported on the growing problem.
European coil buyers go away empty-handed as more plants come off the market
The European market for hot rolled coils is in a buying frenzy over what is left of the material available from European mills for the end of the first quarter of next year as reported on November 26.
When this situation will change again is not foreseeable now. Currently, those who have built up a good network and are not dependent on a single source of supply have an advantage.
Do you have any questions about this topic?
Give us a call!
EU: +49 7642 9282851
US: +1 302 803 5865
We at the Gerber Group have been trading in stainless steel worldwide for over 20 years. We are your experts when it comes to purchasing, import, logistics and services. Information is a vital part of this. Because only then can you and we make the right decisions. Do you have any questions? Contact us now.
Disclaimer: Many things here represent our opinion. Others are information from the Internet. We can therefore never claim to be correct or complete. And never base a business decision solely on the news you receive from us.