Sign up for free MEPS steel news alerts

  Home Company Profile Steel Industry Analysis Meps Publications Consultancy Independent Studies
MEPS Steel Prices On-line MEPS Steel Reports On-line MEPS Industrial Sector Steel Price Index

Company Profile
Steel Industry Analysis
MEPS Steel Publications
Steel Consultancy
MEPS World Steel Prices
Independent Studies
Request Free Publications
Steel Statistics
MEPS Index Steel Prices
Subscribe to Publications
MEPS Steel News
Industry News
MEPS Sponsored Events
Steel Links
Subscription Rates
Add Link To Website
Content for Websites
Contact Us
Site Map

World Carbon Steel Price
World Carbon Steel Price Index
EU Carbon Steel Price
EU Carbon Steel Price Index
Asia Carbon Steel Price
Asia Carbon Steel Price Index
North American Carbon Steel Price
North American Carbon Steel Price Index
Flat & Long Carbon Steel Price
Flat & Long Carbon Steel Price Index
All Products Composite Steel Price & Index
Stainless Steel World Price
Stainless Steel World Price Index
EU Stainless Steel Price
EU Stainless Steel Price Index
Asia Stainless Steel Price
Asia Stainless Steel Price Index
North American Stainless Steel Price
North American Stainless Steel Price Index
Home > MEPS Steel News - 02.06.2014


The upward trend in nickel values, which has been in place since the beginning of 2014, has contributed to a substantial increase in stainless steel prices in May according to MEPS latest research. Following the very rapid rise in nickel figures during the past month, transaction values for austenitic grades are predicted to climb even more steeply in June.

The LME nickel price peaked at over US$21,000 per tonne on May 13, an increase of more than 50 percent compared with its low point, below US$14,000 per tonne, in early January. In the immediately preceding week, the nickel value had rocketed by around US$2,000 per tonne, or 13 percent.

As a result, alloy surcharges for grade 304 flat products, in Europe and the United States, will be about 25 percent higher in June than they were in April and 38 percent more than the January figures.

The main driving force behind the soaring nickel price has been the Indonesian government’s ban on exports of unprocessed ores, which came into effect in January of this year. The threat of the ban had little advance influence on nickel values, as speculators were unsure how firm the government’s stance would be.

Even after the ban came into effect, there was no panic among commodities traders, as observers remarked upon the stockpiles of nickel ore held by processors, particularly in China. Furthermore, LME nickel inventories continued to run at historically high levels. However, the upward pressure on nickel values became stronger as market players assessed the medium-term repercussions of the ban. Both technical and fundamental factors pointed to positive movements and the upswing in nickel prices accelerated.

As the Indonesians had hoped, a number of nickel processing plants are planned or already under construction in the country. In the short term, however, Chinese nickel pig iron production is predicted to fall by around 100,000 tonnes, this year, and possibly twice that amount in 2015. Consequently, the global surplus in nickel (production versus consumption) will be cut drastically in 2014 and may even move into deficit next year.

Therefore, despite the recent significant gains, MEPS believes that the medium-term prospects for nickel prices continue to be positive. The new floor value is likely to be around the US$18,000 per tonne mark, rather than the lower figures recorded during the past two years.

Source: MEPS - Stainless Steel Review

Free Sample copy of MEPS Stainless Steel Review


Sign up for free MEPS steel news alerts

Enter e-mail address *Required


If you are a journalist please tick here: