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In the United States, further increases in hot rolled coil prices show what the upcoming infrastructure program will cause on the steel market. Brazil urgently needs to resort to steel imports, according to association opinion. And nickel, nickel ore and nickel pig iron prices are either holding at high levels or continuing to rise due to strong stainless steel sentiment.

Stainless Espresso: Will the US infrastructure program suck the steel market dry?
Stainless Espresso: Will the US infrastructure program suck the steel market dry?

Nickel prices hold at high level

After a brief market slump due to inflation concerns, the anxious mood quickly calmed down again. Investors react positively to the strong fundamentals on the nickel market.

Nickel ore offers have risen sharply

The average cif price for 1.5% nickel ore was $69/wmt last Friday, up $5/wmt from the previous week.

High-grade nickel pig iron increasing

Quotations for high-grade nickel pig iron (NPI) increased sharply. Expectations of higher NPI profits supported ore prices. Recent Chinese NPI production schedules are high and many production lines have been added or restarted, bringing commodity demand to its peak for the year. While supply has increased significantly in recent months, stockpile demand has also been strong. Ore prices will be able to continue to rise, according to analysts’ opinions.

Optimistic outlook for stainless steel

Rising demand is being driven by a bullish stainless market ahead of the third quarter, which is traditionally the time when stainless prices pick up in Asia.

Brazil urgently needs to rely on steel imports

Brazil’s capital goods industry can only maintain its focus on exports if it siginificantly increases its use of imported steel products. And it must diversify its supply channels to counteract expensive and scarce domestic material availability. At least that was the conclusion of a recent Abimaq event. Especially in terms of price, imports are 10 to 40% cheaper than domestic products.

US HRC prices pick up strongly

As we predicted, us HRC prices have picked up sharply due to the Biden administration’s upcoming infrastructure program. The us steel market, already struggling with high prices and tight availability, will have to meet demand from the $1 trillion stimulus program in the coming months, if not years. Here, US consumers not subject to the Buy American Act will certainly have to rely increasingly on imports.

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