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November 24, 2021 – The global shortage of raw materials and semi-finished stainless steel and aluminium products continues. This is also reflected in the decline in global crude steel production in October 2021. The current situation is no better for aluminium either. According to calculations, global aluminium stocks are at their lowest level in 20 years. And in the United States there is still a shortage of stainless steel, which is expected to continue. In addition, more and more countries seem to want to protect their scrap reserves with export bans. Nickel, aluminium and stainless steel prices rise.

Stainless Espresso: Global shortage of stainless steel and aluminium continues

Crude steel production falls by 10.6% in October 2021

According to the latest statistical data from the worldsteel association, global crude steel production fell by 10.6% in October 2021 compared to the same month last year. The sharpest drop in production was recorded by China, which produced 23.3% less crude steel compared to October 2020.

EAEU scrap export ban possible from 2022

The Eurasian Intergovernmental Council has confirmed a plan to ban scrap exports from the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) from January 2022. These measures are embedded in an action plan to secure the supply of raw materials within the EAEU.

The action plan aims, among other things, to optimise the transport of scrap, to achieve environmentally friendly scrap processing and to save energy. In the EAEU, currently 1/3 of the steel produced is made from scrap.

Global shortage: aluminium stocks running out

Global stocks of aluminium are running out. According to current estimates, stocks have reached their lowest level in 20 years and are close to zero.

According to calculations, China’s aluminium stocks of 1.2 million tonnes are sufficient for just two weeks’ demand.

However, in view of rising energy costs and increasing environmental controls, the days of abundant, cheap aluminium could be over in the longer term.

US stainless steel shortage

The US stainless steel shortage continues. Apparently 30% of US production of grade 304 stainless steel has already been halted as of January 2021 and only a third of that has been restarted in the meantime. This is being felt in the US market – high prices and very tight availability in the domestic market for almost a year now.

According to the authors of the article “America’s stainless steel shortage“, there seems to be no improvement in sight.

Nickel and aluminium rise, stainless steel rises significantly

On the LME, nickel and aluminium continue to rise today. Nickel is currently up more than 2%, aluminium follows with more than 1%.

On the SHFE, nickel closed with a plus of over 2%. Aluminium with 0.34%. Asian stainless steel futures are up more than 3.6%.

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