Nickel pulls down prices for stainless steel mill product.

Nickel pulls down prices for stainless steel mill product.

The October decline in nickel prices deprive stainless steel manufacturers of room for maneuver. In Western Europe the cost of the alloy additives on the nickel-containing mill products for November delivery dropped sharply. In addition to nickel, significantly decreased the price of ferromolybdenum that affected the price of the stainless steel mill product of 316 group.

Western European manufacturers can no longer ignore the fall in nickel prices. By setting the size of the alloy additives on stainless steel product in October, they took into account the appreciation of the Euro against the US dollar in September, so prices have shown growth, despite a decline in nickel prices. In October the fall in nickel prices increased, and the strengthening of the Euro slowed down. As a result, the size of the alloy additives for flat stainless steel products of November 2014 supplies, in comparison with October, went down sharply. Consequently, an average European allowance on CR 304 2B decreased by 8.9% (including changes in the Euro / US dollar – 7.0%); on CR 316 2B – 11.1% (9.2%); on CR 321 2B – 9.7% (7.7%); 430 CR 2B – 2.4% (0.3%) and CR 409 2B – 3.1% (1.0%).

According to experts, this decision seems to be taken a bit late. Reduction of additives on CR 304 2B in average by 128 Euro / t (~ 162 USD / ton) is unlikely to help improve the price attractiveness comparing to Asian stainless steel products. Most probably, the Western European producers have to revise the base prices, which they always do with a great reluctance.

Change of alloy additives for flat cold-rolled stainless steel product
Grade AISI 304 316 321 430 409
September 1386 2115 1547 451 378
October 1432 2170 1605 466 391
November 1304 1930 1450 455 379
% of change -8,9 -11,1 -9,7 -2,4 -3,1
% of change in the light of rate of Euro / USD -7,0 -9,2 -7,7 -0,3 -1,0







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