SLOW RECOVERY IN
STAINLESS STEEL PRICES PREDICTED
The trend in MEPS world average stainless
steel prices has been inexorably negative over the past twelve
months. With only a couple of very minor monthly increases,
reflecting fluctuations in the LME nickel figure, transaction values
have followed a downward trajectory. The average price for 304 cold
rolled coil, this month, is around 28 percent lower than number
recorded one year ago.
Basis values, where applicable, have been quite stable, with only a
few small, mostly negative, adjustments. They remain close to the
producers’ breakeven figures. The EU cold rolled, type 316, basis
price has decreased by 3.2 percent, year-on-year. During the same
period, as nickel and molybdenum values have plummeted, alloy
surcharges for 316 grades have fallen by more than 25 percent.
Although raw material costs are predicted to grow, moderately, from
their current levels, in the next twelve months, the average over
that period is likely to significantly lower than during the past
Transaction values in Asia are predicted to rise slowly, reflecting
the cost of raw materials, reaching a peak level around May 2016.
Following a seasonal pattern, prices are forecast to slip during the
Effective selling figures in Europe are expected to continue to
soften, month-on-month, until the end of this year. Gently rising
transaction values are foreseen during the first half of 2016,
driven by raw material costs. Prices are likely to weaken as demand
slows in advance of the traditional summer shutdown season.
North American basis values are predicted to remain mostly stable,
with one small increase anticipated, early next year. Transaction
figures will, thereafter, track the changes in alloy surcharges.
This is likely to result in seasonal peak prices being reached in
Source: MEPS -
Review - August Issue
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