In China, nickel and stainless steel prices have increased significantly today, Friday, July 16, 2021. Stainless steel futures on the SHFE rose up to 6.7% in the interim. Nickel on the LME briefly above $19,000 per ton. The European Green Deal “Fit for 55” and CBAM are driving concerns internationally that there could now be new green trade wars. And in Germany, parts of the steel industry are drowning in torrential rain.

Stainless Espresso: Nickel and stainless steel prices up significantly
Stainless Espresso: Nickel and stainless steel prices up significantly

Facts, figures, data: Nickel and stainless steel prices up significantly

Following intensifying concerns about a raw material shortage in nickel and stainless steel, nickel futures on the LME have risen significantly this morning (July 16, 2021). At one point, nickel stood there at over $19,000 per ton and is currently trading at around $18,900 per ton. On the SHFE, the most heavily traded nickel contract 2108 has gained about $450 per ton.

Stainless steel spot prices and futures up rapidly

Chinese stainless steel prices on the spot market have risen by as much as $200 per ton. And SHFE stainless steel futures, meanwhile up more than 6.7%, are currently still well above the previous day’s level, up more than 4%. Stainless steel prices in China are thus continuing their significant rise.

Chinese steel industry in upheaval

In recent days we have already pointed out that the Chinese steel industry is facing particular challenges. Stainless steel production in China, which is also facing supply bottlenecks worldwide, is particularly affected. The green transition, energy shortages, high raw material prices and high demand on the world market, combined with ever new market protection measures, are keeping stainless steel availability tight and prices up. Recent positive labor market data from the United States have done the rest.


Carbon Border Tax: Are the green trade wars coming now?

The European Union has just presented its ambitious plan for green transformation. The United States wants to follow suit. And internationally, concerns are growing about new trade barriers and new trade wars. Triggered by the Europeans’ single-handedly implemented environmental protection measures.

And Europe must not forget that it is dependent on raw material imports. Over the next few days we will be looking explicitly at the Green Transformation and its particular impact on steel and aluminum.

Read also: Green Steel and CBAM: Or how the steel producing industry is artificially kept alive

Germany under water: floods hit steel industry hard

In Germany, severe weather conditions have triggered the worst flood disaster in years. According to media reports, many steel companies along the Rhine and in the border region of Germany and the BENELUX countries have been affected. Logistics and distribution have collapsed in places. The states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate have been worst affected.

German steel giants affected from flood

An important cold rolling mill has already had to declare force majeure because of the floods. An end and the full extent of the disaster is not yet foreseeable at present.

The German steel giants ArcelorMittal and Thyssenkrupp also announced that parts of their domestic production have been affected.

Delivery delays and further bottlenecks possible

The tense situation in the European steel market is likely to be further fueled by the flood. The disruption of major German highways, rail lines and waterways will in all likelihood lead to further supply bottlenecks and delays for raw materials and steel products.

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