UNCERTAINTY LIFTS AUSTENITIC STAINLESS STEEL PRICES IN 2014
The development of MEPS world average
stainless steel prices has been predominantly positive over the past
twelve months. Since reaching the bottom of a typical, seasonal dip
in August 2013, transaction values have followed a mostly upward
curve, before softening in the last two months. The average price
for grade 304 cold rolled coil, this month, is around 23 percent
higher than the figure one year ago.
Basis values, where applicable, have recorded relatively small
fluctuations and remain only marginally above the producers’
breakeven figures. The EU cold rolled coil, type 316, basis price
has risen by 7.4 percent, year-on-year. During the same period, with
nickel and molybdenum values increasing substantially, alloy
surcharges for grade 316 have climbed by more than 35 percent.
Although raw material costs are not expected to grow greatly above
current levels, in the coming year, the average over that period
will be significantly higher than during the past twelve months.
Transaction values in Asia are predicted to rise slowly, reflecting
the cost of raw materials, reaching a peak level around May 2014.
Following a seasonal pattern, prices are forecast to soften during
the summer months.
Effective selling figures in Europe are expected to continue on an
upward curve until the second quarter of next year. This trend is
likely to be interrupted by a small dip around year-end. Prices are
likely to weaken as demand slows in advance of the traditional
summer shutdown season.
North American basis values are predicted to remain quite stable,
after a proposed hike in October. Transaction figures will,
therefore, track the changes in alloy surcharges. This is likely to
result in seasonal peak prices being reached in October 2014 and
May, next year.
Global crude stainless steel production is forecast to achieve a new
record annual total of more than 40 million tonnes, in 2014.
Source: MEPS -
Review - August Issue
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