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October 5, 2021 – Prices for European stainless steel increased again in September. Looking at the EU alloy surcharges, which have increased by more than 60% in some cases since January 2021, further price increases can be expected on the domestic market in October. Energy costs drive commodity price index to highest level since 2011.

Stainless Espresso: EU stainless steel becomes more expensive
Stainless Espresso: EU stainless steel becomes more expensive

European stainless steel more expensive again

EU steel producers raised prices for domestic stainless steel again in September. This means that individual grades are already approaching the historic highs of 2007. Material continues to be difficult to obtain as many import opportunities are blocked by tariffs and safeguards. Certain Safeguard quotas, such as those of Turkey and Taiwan, are expected to be exhausted quickly. This presents many buyers with ongoing sourcing challenges.

Alloy surcharges mostly just maculature

Alloy surcharges for stainless steel are increasingly proving to be nothing more than maculature. Despite mixed raw material costs, the alloy surcharges of European stainless steel producers for October have risen again. And although prices have fallen slightly in some areas, such as nickel, chromium prices have increased significantly. In total, European alloy surcharges have increased by more than 60% in some cases since the beginning of 2021.

Falling alloy costs are priced in elsewhere

Overall, alloy surcharges are likely to remain at a high level and falling purchase prices for alloying raw materials will be reflected in other areas, such as the base price for stainless steel. This is because energy prices in the EU have already risen massively, prompting the first voices to call for subsidies or threaten to move abroad if nothing is done about it. Some EU steel producers have also started to add carbon surcharges, which should actually still be covered by free EU emission allowances, to the price of steel.

Commodity price index at highest level since 2011

As Bloomberg reports, prices for some of the most important commodities are at their highest level since 2011. Energy prices in particular have risen massively. Natural gas by 129% and, for example, Brent Crude have increased by 57% in 2021 alone. But also aluminum has increased its price by 47%.

The reasons for this should be well known. Tight availability, opening markets after the Corona pandemic and logistical challenges to move goods from A to B have caused prices to rise. In addition, commodities are currently seen as a safe investment opportunity.

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