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Stainless steel price rally still in focus. While many market participants are hoping for the traditional summer break, it seems to be absent this year. Which is not surprising in view of the pre-Corona period, investment backlogs, material shortages and infrastructure projects starting up. The figures and rising prices also show this.

Stainless Espresso: Stainless Steel Price Rally 2021
Stainless Espresso: Stainless Steel Price Rally 2021

Stainless steel also for Q3 2021 still in rally mode

Today, commodity prices in Asia have rallied again. Values relevant for stainless steel, such as Nickel Futures (SHFE +1.53%) or Iron Ores (DCE +3.7%) have risen significantly. Stainless steel futures (SHFE +2.24%) or hot-rolled coil futures (SHFE +2.27%) also continue to go up.

Source: shfe.com.cn, dce.com.cn

Ferrochrome up 13%

Chinese high carbon ferrochrome, which had suffered a significant slump of almost 13% in April, has meanwhile easily recovered this loss and is quoted at approx. US$ 1,284 (approx. 8,300 Yuan) per ton. Tendency rising.

Molybdenum rises by more than 19%

Molybdenum, which is used in stainless steel grades 316 and 316L, for example, has also rallied by more than 19% since the beginning of June 2021. This also became very clear recently when European stainless steel producers raised their alloy surcharges for 316/316L grades by more than 9% in some cases for July.

Stainless steel in short supply worldwide

Stainless steel is currently in short supply worldwide. Very high demand, supply delays, production bottlenecks and Corona-related lockdowns have thrown the entire supply chain into disarray. Even though stainless steel mills are working flat out to bring further capacity online, there are currently political measures affecting availability.

Attempts to cool raw material markets

Most recently in Russia, before that in China and already in Indian minds, governments have made attempts to cool down the raw material markets with export restrictions. So far with rather limited success. Western infrastructure programs, the economic upswing after the Corona pandemic has subsided, investment backlogs and rampant market protection measures are putting a spanner in the works of all attempts to calm the market.

US hot-rolled coil prices rise above $1,700 per ST

US steel prices continue to climb, with hot-rolled coil prices now above US$ 1,700 per short ton. This unprecedented level is accompanied by strong activity in most end-use sectors. The upward momentum in prices is expected to continue in the near term.

US infrastructure program will eat steel

The 8-year US infrastructure program, worth more than USD 1.2 trillion, will continue to fuel the domestic market despite an increase in capacity utilization in US steel mills to over eighty percent. Despite this increase in production, US demand still exceeds supply.

Q3 2021 will be hot once again and then?

In view of the current figures and data, it remains questionable whether the stainless steel market can be expected to cool down in Q4 2021. Even if analysts think they see a downward trend due to capacities that could possibly come online in the course of the year, the reality currently stands in the way.

The traditional summer break that many market participants would like to see will not happen this year. Those who are smart are building their lead now.

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