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12 November 2021 – Even if some steel producers are trying to unsettle their customers on the EU stainless steel market with rumours, the current market indicators show something quite different. Behind the rumours, however, could be a manufacturer’s desperation over its own inability to deliver. US stainless steel prices at highest level since 2011. And in China HRC futures rise by up to 8%.

Stainless Espresso: EU stainless steel market expects no changes
Stainless Espresso: EU stainless steel market expects no changes

Desperation in the EU stainless steel market?

Market participants have reported that a steel producer is desperately trying to unsettle its customers with rumours. Behind this could be that this EU stainless steel source may no longer be able to deliver and is now trying to prevent customers from looking elsewhere.

No changes expected in the EU stainless steel market at present

If one looks at the situation on the EU stainless steel market, no changes are currently to be expected. The supply of stainless steel is still tight.

Some important equipment of an Italian stainless steel rolling mill is still out of action indefinitely after a fire.

Other major stainless steel producers have postponed deliveries for December 2021 to April 2022.

And European producers are already flirting with exports to the United States, where stainless steel prices climbed in November to their highest level since 2011.

US stainless steel prices continue to climb in November

US stainless steel prices climbed in November to their highest level since 2011. According to market sources, the US spot market for stainless steel coil and sheet is currently empty. It also appears that many buyers are no longer receiving allocations from the mills. Some prices have risen by more than 3% compared to October 2021.

Steel prices in China pick up

After Chinese spot prices for hot-rolled coil (HRC) had already risen by more than 4% on Thursday, SHFE HRC futures jumped by up to 8% today, Friday 12 November.

Where does the rise in steel prices come from?

The background is a mix of currency fluctuations, inflation, a further debt repayment by the Chinese real estate group Evergrande and strong demand in China. This is also shown by the changes in Chinese stocks compared to the previous week. Rebar stocks are down 262,000 MT week on week and HRC 81,000 MT.

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