20 January 2023 – Steel prices have recently risen significantly again. Not only the relaxed covid restrictions in China, but also the lowest inventories in 16 months are giving prices in Europe a good tailwind. Molybdenum and nickel continue to rise.
European Steel prices get tailwind from empty stocks
Deutsche Bank reports in a recent letter that many major customers of European steel producers have reduced their inventories in recent months. This is now being met by rising steel prices, which have continued to rise since November 2022.
Inventories at lowest level in 16 months
According to Deutsche Bank, this is due on the one hand to the end of the zero-covid policy in commodity-hungry China, and on the other hand EU inventories are now falling further and further. In Germany, for example, they are now as low as they were 16 months ago. Against this background, there is further tailwind for steel and stainless steel prices in Europe.
Molybdenum still at a very high level
Molybdenum prices in China reached their highest level in 15 years at the end of 2022. But prices in Europe have also had a huge rally. Yesterday they rose again by about 3 to 5%. For molybdenum oxide, it even went up by more than 9% compared to the previous week. Currently, a tonne of MoOx stands at more than $ 70,000.
Asian analysts assume that the rising molybdenum prices will have an impact on the stainless steel grades 316 and 316L from February onwards.
Nickel rises w-o-w by more than 9%
Nickel has also continued to rise in price, standing at around $ 32,920 per tonne on the SHFE and around $ 28,410 per tonne on the LME at yesterday’s close. This means that the price of nickel has already risen by more than 9%, following a renewed attempt to influence the price of nickel.
- European stainless steel demand continues to pick up
- EU Parliament votes for scrap export ban
- Chinese stainless steel mills suspend deliveries
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