November 8, 2021 – Stainless steel remains a scarce commodity in Europe. Initial voices are calling for a boycott as a protest against scarce availability and prices. But can that really be a solution? The United States surprised with very good labour market data in October and the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package has passed through Congress. Markets wait for US stock exchanges.

Stainless Espresso: Stainless steel supply capability more important than protest
Stainless Espresso: Stainless steel supply capability more important than protest

Stainless steel: Supply capability more important than protest

European stainless steel is in short supply and will remain so for the foreseeable future. EU stainless steel producers’ delivery times for some products have already reached June 2022.

Sourcing challenging

With Safeguard and anti-dumping measures in place, it is also not easy to import material into Europe. This has been well known since at least the end of 2020, when Western demand, especially in the United States and Europe, jumped.

More and more countries are coming out of Corona lockdown

Now add to this the fact that Asian economies are increasingly coming out of Corona Lockdown. And has a huge backlog of demand. Which further reduces availability and of course keeps prices high.

Call for protest and boycott?

Voices are currently being raised calling for Western buyers and consumers to stop buying stainless steel in protest.

Is such a protest really effective?

However, entrepreneurs and buyers have to ask themselves one central question: Do I want to stop buying out of protest or do I want to find my best position in the current market situation, to achieve the best for my company and in the end to be there for my own customers.

European companies need stainless steel

The market has a need for steel and stainless steel. A huge demand, in fact. If you look at Germany alone, the market there is hot for goods. This is shown not only by current surveys, but also by the outlook for continued scarce availability and the German challenges to procure enough raw materials and pre-products for all the orders that have already accumulated or are currently being closed.

Boycott is not an option

Not buying in protest is not an option. Then someone else will simply buy the quantities that become available for their own benefit. And the protesters end up empty-handed. That’s where smart buying comes in.

Positive data from the United States

Surprisingly positive US labour market data with a plus of more than 530,000 jobs still had an impact on the markets on Friday. In addition, the US Congress approved the 1.2 trillion infrastructure package, which now goes to President Biden for his signature. This should provide further positive impetus for global markets.

Aluminium and nickel up

On the Asian SHFE, aluminium (approx. +1.36%) and nickel (+0.45%) closed with slight gains. The LME is still quiet today and is apparently waiting for the US stock markets to open and the reactions to the US stimulus package.

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