Research

Forecasts and market analysis based on price assessments from Fastmarkets MB and Fastmarkets AMM

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January 2019 | Stainless Steels


US stainless prices to edge further down in February but could be bottoming out: American Highlights


While US stainless demand has been starting to revive somewhat after the largely seasonal softness in December, reportedly it has been doing so slower than many companies had forecast.

February surcharges to inch further down with ferritic grades seeing biggest declines
Even with nickel prices moving up 1.6% over the past month, US stainless steel flat roll surcharges are expected to see across the board declines in February, largely due to a 7.3% month on month drop in iron costs, which is very unusual for this time of the year.

Month on month surcharges are difficult given that Outokumpu withdrew its electrode surcharge starting in February while Allegheny Technologies (ATI) and AK Steel continue, at least for the time being, to keep theirs in place. We believe that Outokumpu’s move was aimed at being more competitive with North American Stainless, which never imposed an electrode surcharge, than being an indication of a change in the electrodes market.

Clearly the biggest impact of surcharge pricing has been upon ferritic grades with surcharges for grade 430 stainless...

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