Research

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

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January 2019 | Stainless Steels


Prices to continue falling through February but March uptick possible: European Highlights


Alloy surcharges in Europe are being dragged down slightly throughout Q1 2019 on the back of lower contract prices for ferrochrome.

While late December/early January is understandably a period of minimal activity in European steel markets as buyers and sellers enjoy well-earned breaks around Christmas and New Year, that inactivity has extended throughout January this year. Overall transaction prices for stainless steel have continued to inch down in January, and will do so again in February, and thus buyers are in no rush to replenish their stocks.

For their part, base prices on the most common grades of stainless steel, grades 304 and 316, remain stable at some €955/tonne and €1,295/tonne respectively, unchanged since our previous tracker (both prices for cold-rolled sheet, delivered basis). Meanwhile, spot prices of both chrome and nickel also appear to have bottomed out. High-carbon ferrochrome delivered into the EU is priced at $1/lb on the spot market, as it was during mid-December. Other, more globally-important spot market prices for ferrochrome are also stable (see Chrome...

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