The week of Feb. 15-19, 2021, was again exceptionally thrilling. Trend topics this week: Nickel prices go steeply upwards. EU vs. Indonesia: talks broken off. EU Safeguard measures before the end? And the stainless steel market is going completely crazy.

SN Weekly 7/2021: Turbulent week on the steel market
SN Weekly 7/2021: Turbulent week on the steel market

Nickel on the way to $20,000 per ton?

Nickel, which is so important for stainless steel, has surpassed $19,000 per ton. Currently, it stands at around $19,500. Many stainless steel producers already expect it to attack $20,000 per ton shortly. This is an almost unprecedented run on this metal. Fueled by battery manufacturers for electric vehicles and the stainless steel industry.

Thorsten Gerber on the nickel export ban

Fittingly, our CEO Thorsten Gerber, has just been asked about this by Deutsche Welle for his opinion. In mid-January, the European Union filed a case against the Indonesian government’s nickel export ban at the WTO. We had published a detailed article about this, which caused quite a stir. In addition, the current negotiations between Indonesia and the EU on the issue have just broken down.

EU Safeguard measures facing final demise?

For months, the downstream industry in the EU has been suffering from material shortages of steel and stainless steel. Prices are skyrocketing. And the EU’s market protection measures are costing the economy billions. The major steel consumer associations are now demanding that the European Commission finally abolish the safeguard measures and anti-dumping duties. And to curtail the negotiating power of the major steel producers and their lobbying organizations, who are currently alone in deciding the weal and woe of the European steel market. To the detriment of end users and at the cost of millions of jobs that are in danger of being lost.

We have dedicated a focus article to the whole issue >>>

The stainless steel market has gone crazy

In keeping with the steel associations’ calls for an end to Safeguard, prices continue to skyrocket in the EU and the United States. Delivery schedules for EU steel mills are already at the end of the second quarter of 2021, with Italy reporting that no deliveries of new production material are expected there before June/July. Purchasers in the United States are hardly faring any better. Add to that severe winter storms there, even in the state of Texas, that have crippled power supplies and shut down many mini-mills.

The most trending articles of the week

Automobile manufacturers’ association Anfia calls for end to EU Safeguard measures

Commodity Tracker: Strong steel prices in the US and EU

No agreement on nickel export ban: EU and Indonesia talks fail

Stainless steel market goes crazy: Delivery times and prices continue to rise

thyssenkrupp ends talks with Liberty Steel

End for EU Safeguard: Assofermet calls on EU Commission to end market protection measures

Focus – EU Safeguard Measures: Calls for immediate end grow louder

Outlook for the coming week

As already written, nickel will be the predominant topic in the coming week. Will it make the leap above $20,000 per ton or will it buckle before then? Even though speculators could take profits now, the trend in nickel is clearly pointing upwards.

Lithium prices, which are also in demand in the battery industry, are also exploding through the roof.

And, what many have not even considered yet: What is the Chinese market doing now that the Lunar New Year celebration and the vacations have come to an end?

Do you have any questions on one of our topics? Or would you like to know where stainless steel is currently still available? Just give us a call: +49 7642 9282851 or send us an email to

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