With Stainless Demand Looking Weak, Why Did Monthly Price Index Rise?

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MetalMiner’s monthly Stainless MMI® registered a value of 99 in October, an increase of 12.5 percent from 88 in September.

With the exception of global precious metals, no monthly index reading moved up as much as the Stainless MMI®. The rise, driven by rising nickel prices around the globe, sent surcharges and coil prices surging during September.

stainless steel price index trend 2012

Source: MetalMiner IndX℠

“Like some of the other index values for this month, our concern with the stainless rally involves the demand side of the equation, which we feel still looks somewhat weak,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “Industry scuttlebutt remains somewhat pessimistic as to stainless pricing in general, further suggesting the price rises have more to do with monetary stimulus than actual demand.”

Nevertheless, companies tend to stock up a bit during the early fall, so prices could remain supported for the near-term.

Price Drivers for the Stainless Steel Index Increase

The 3-month price of nickel closed the month up 13.3 percent on the LME at $18,540 per metric ton. The price of Chinese primary nickel finished the month 15.5 percent higher.

Chinese 304 stainless coil closed the month following a 6.7 percent change in price. Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap prices rose 6.7 percent as well. Meanwhile, Chinese 316 stainless coil finished the month up 2.1 percent per metric ton. Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap shifted up 1.7 percent last month.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge finished the month up 4.8 percent, while the 304 stainless surcharge ended September after rising 2.7 percent.

Korean 430 stainless steel coil rose 1.7 percent, and Chinese ferro-chrome prices increased 1.1 percent this past month.

Need more forms and grades of nickel/stainless prices? See what the MetalMiner IndX can do for you.

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.

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