Further price jumps for 316/316L stainless steel
Further price jumps for 316/316L stainless steel

6 February 2023 – The price jumps in the molybdenum-containing stainless steel grades 316 and 316L continued on Monday. A robust labour market is reported from the United States, which is already having an impact on the EUR-USD currency pair. And the automotive industry and semiconductor manufacturers seem to be getting their supply difficulties more and more under control, which should ensure further growth in steel demand overall.

Further price jumps for 316/316L stainless steel

Despite some manageable declines in some commodities, mostly due to profit taking and the changes in the EUR/USD currency pair, the price jumps in 316/316L stainless steel grades continued on the Chinese spot market on Monday. On average, prices rose by more than 2%. The main reason for this continued to be the molybdenum prices, which remained at record levels – Further background information can be found here: “Molybdenum prices at record high, supply tight“.

Robust US labour market

The US labour market report for January as well as the JOLTS report reported robust numbers: More than 11 million jobs are unfilled. In addition, 517,000 additional jobs were created – analysts had expected a job increase of 187,000. Employment growth in the previous two months was also revised upwards by a total of 71,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4 per cent – the lowest level in 53 years. This also had an effect on the EUR-USD currency pair.

Semiconductor shares on recovery rally, delivery times for cars fall

The supply bottlenecks for semiconductors in 2021 and 2022, which had led to a massive backlog of orders among carmakers, seem to be easing more and more. Significantly shorter delivery times for new cars are being reported, especially from carmaker country Germany. As we expected, this should also lead to a surge in demand for steel, aluminium and stainless steel from the automotive industry, which still has some catching up to do.

Semiconductor index up 45%

At the same time, the semiconductor index SOX is up 45% since October 2022. For 2023, in addition to demand from the automotive industry, increasing investments from India and the European Union in the 5-G infrastructure are expected, as well as dynamic growth in sales of data centres. Deutsche Bank forecasts an increase in semiconductor sales of around 10 billion US dollars in the next 12 months.

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