Nickel Inventories at Record Highs as Stainless Price Index Evens Out

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stainless price index

The monthly Stainless MMI® took a break from its recent overall volatility by registering a value of 91 in April, on par with March’s value.

Last month’s stainless index dropped 7 points due to nickel price drops.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXDomestic stainless surcharges for 304 and 316 fell as a result of lower nickel prices, though nickel fell only slightly from last month. The only prices that supported the index included 304 coil and scrap from China.

“Nickel prices continue to look weak as LME inventory stocks remain at record-high levels,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “We believe this will continue to place significant price pressure on the Stainless MMI®.”

With an average selling price of $1,521 per metric ton lower than the year-ago period, unless manufacturing picks up substantially in Europe or the US, the stainless outlook appears less than rosy.

Price Drivers of Stainless Index

After dropping the previous month, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil prices rose 0.8 percent. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil rose 0.6 percent after falling the previous month. After dropping the previous month, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap prices rose 0.6 percent as well.

Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge prices fell 5.6 percent after rising the previous month. Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge prices dropped 5.1 percent. Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap was down 3.6 percent for the month. The price of Chinese primary nickel saw a small decline this month, falling 2.0 percent. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel fell a slight 0.4 percent over the past month to $16,695 per metric ton.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXLast month was consistent for Chinese ferro-chrome in the local Chinese market, but the USD value moved up very slightly. The USD value of Chinese ferro-moly was up slightly as well.

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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