Research

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

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December 2019 | Stainless Steels


China’s unexpected demand boom in 2019 unlikely to be repeated as manufacturing outlook worsens: Asian Highlights


Clearly raw materials prices have had their part to play in the downturn. By our calculations the nickel and chrome and free iron in Chinese raw materials fell by around 1% since the end of November, a dollar equivalent of $19 per tonne in one tonne of 304.

According to Fastmarkets’ last assessment before Christmas, for the week ending December 20th, the CR304 2mm coil price in Wuxi had failed to revive following the $100 per tonne collapse through November. Indeed the latest average at 14,700 yuan per tonne was 300 yuan lower month on month and the lowest assessment since early August, just before the temporary nickel price surge. Since the end of November, the reported declines have been twice as big for this benchmark in other major cities, according to data from Steelhome. For 316 grade flat products, meanwhile, prices have fallen between 1,000 yuan and 1,300 yuan per tonne in a sign that suppliers are trying to upgrade their customers to higher value, more profitable stainless steels in a falling market.

Clearly raw materials...

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