Durable Goods Demand, Current Nickel Prices Buoy Stainless Index

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MetalMiner Stainless Steel Price Index December 2012 graph

MetalMiner’s monthly Stainless MMI® registered a value of 94 in December, an increase of 4.4 percent from November’s value of 90.

real stainless steel pricing - MetalMiner IndXThe monthly stainless steel price index jumped four points, tied with the aluminum index for largest upward jump. Nearly 100 percent of the price improvement for the stainless index came from rising nickel prices on the LME (up nearly 6 percent), as well as rising nickel prices in China (up more than 7 percent).

US stainless steel surcharges did not, however, keep pace and dropped over 8 percent for 316 stainless and nearly 8 percent for 304 stainless.

“Despite some uncertainty on the macroeconomic side of things due to the fiscal cliff, and subsequent tight management of inventory, demand for stainless products appears solid,” said Lisa Reisman managing editor of MetalMiner.

“We see rising consumer confidence and some nice upward trend lines for durable goods, including a big 9.2 percent jump in new orders in September,” Reisman continued.

We suspect stainless surcharges will also move up if demand continues to improve.

Other Drivers of the Stainless Price Index Increase

Chinese 304 stainless coil saw its price rise 0.7 percent, and Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap also recorded a 0.7 percent increase.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXThe price of Chinese 316 stainless coil fell 3.4 percent over the past month, the second straight month of declines. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap finished the month 0.5 percent lower, also the second straight month of declines.

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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