Stainless steel: Market expects further price increases
Stainless steel: Market expects further price increases

19 April 2023 – Market voices from various stainless steel producing countries expect price increases in the short term. Prices for stainless steel scrap have risen, in some cases significantly. And the Worldsteel Association expects some significant increases in demand for steel in 2023 and 2024.

Stainless steel: Market expects further price increases

From several stainless steel producing countries, and not just from Asia alone, voices are piling up warning of short-term price increases. The background to this is, among other things, the recent significant increases in nickel prices (approx. +11%, stainless steel scrap (almost 10%) and nickel pig iron (over 5%). After several price increases in the past few days, especially in China, other producing countries now want to follow suit.

Caution about looking at the past

Some subsidised industry media have recently tried to stir up trouble with wild figures. Instead of looking at the current development and the future, they simply reported prices that were at the 430 level for the 304 and at the 304 level for the 316. This is not the first time that attempts have been made to create a mood with questionable figures. Care should be taken not to mention the same grade twice with different numbers in the same breath.

So our tip remains: Be careful where you read and rather consult a second source. Otherwise you could easily become a victim of deliberate and conscious misinformation.

Chinese stainless steel scrap prices increased significantly

Chinese stainless steel scrap prices, which in some cases have shot up by more than 10% since March, are also reflected in Indian scrap prices, which have also been trending upwards since March. A similar picture is likely to emerge here for the EU and influence the coming alloy surcharges, after nickel on the LME had already risen sharply again recently.

Worldsteel sees growing demand for steel

The Worldsteel Association sees an increase in global steel demand of 2.3% for 2023 and in a naturally highly speculative forecast for 2024 of 1.7%. Demand from Europe, North America, South Korea and Japan is expected to grow in 2023 and 2024. Especially for emerging countries such as India and countries from the ASEAN region, the upward trend is expected to be even more pronounced in some cases.

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