New stainless steel shortages coming to US and EU in 2023?
New stainless steel shortages coming to US and EU in 2023?

7 December 2022 – New stainless steel shortages are looming for the United States and the European Union. The factors currently available point to this, and analysts and market experts are already warning that stainless steel availability could again become very tight from January 2023 onwards.

New stainless steel shortages coming to US and EU in 2023?

After the decline in US imports of stainless steel in November and lower imports in December, there are currently indications that there could be a shortage of stainless steel on the US market from January 2023. Especially at the end of the year, many US companies are reducing inventories to avoid the threat of taxes on stocks. Which had already led to shortages in the past.

Asian manufacturers tighten supply

With some large Asian stainless steel manufacturers announcing production cutbacks or maintenance work, this shortage could be fuelled even further when service centres, traders and distributors urgently need to procure material at the beginning of the year.

Chinese New Year very early in 2023

The Chinese New Year, which is celebrated not only in China but also in various other Asian countries as Lunar New Year, Spring Festival or Tet Nguyen Dan, is likely to lead to further delays – especially as the festival starts very early in 2023.

Europe, alloy surcharges and new sanctions

A similar situation is emerging for Europe. As things stand, stainless steel alloy surcharges are expected to rise in January 2023. Nickel, scrap and some ferro alloys, such as molybdenum, have recently increased significantly in price. The winter months could also drive up manufacturers’ energy costs once again. And according to current reports, the European Union is already working on a further package of sanctions against Russia that will specifically target the mining and metal industry there.

Ingredients for a new perfect storm?

According to analysts and market experts, all these factors add up to a conglomerate that will not only lead to rising prices but also to restrictions in the availability of stainless steel, especially in the United States and then inevitably also in the European Union. In any case, the ingredients for a new perfect storm are in place. Better to prepare for it now.

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