The monthly Stainless MMI® registered a value of 92 in July, up 1.1 percent from June’s reading of 91.
Though LME nickel prices have shown recent weakness, the Stainless MMI® received support from a number of areas; in particular, Korean stainless steel prices bucked the declining price trend by rising about 3 percent since last month.
In addition, ferromoly prices from China also provided a little support, whereas ferrochrome prices held constant.
Source: MetalMiner IndX(SM)
“Despite US price declines for stainless, durable goods orders did well in May, up 1.1% over April,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “As we will show throughout the balance of this week, stainless steel did better than many of the other indexes, suggesting an across-the-board metal downward price trend will not materialize.”
“Perhaps what has become apparent with the MMI® data involves the disparate trends occurring around the world,” said Reisman. “Korean prices, for example, have risen while Chinese and US prices have largely declined.”
Drivers of this Month’s Change in the Stainless MMI®
The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap closed the month down 2.8 percent. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil fell 3 percent. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap fell 0.6 percent over the past month, the second straight month of declines. For the second month in a row, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil also declined, falling 0.6 percent over the past month.
At $16,450 per metric ton, the 3-month price of nickel finished the month on the LME just slightly lower. However, this was the second straight month of declines. Stainless steel surcharges for both 304 and 316 fell by 6 percent each which dragged down the complex.
Chinese nickel prices, however, inched up slightly which lent a little support to the index reading.
Chinese ferrochrome traded sideways last month; Chinese ferromoly, on the other hand, rose slightly.
Last month, prices for Korean 304 stainless coil as well as for 430 stainless steel coil increased by about 3 percent, lending overall support to the index.
The Stainless MMI® collects and weights 14 global stainless steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into stainless steel price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Stainless MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.