The monthly Stainless MMI® held steady at 79 for August, which gives it the dubious title of “Poorest Performer” of all of this month’s MMI readings. Most of the items that comprise the stainless steel index remained flat, but the biggest negative impact to the reading stems from weak nickel prices.
“With LME nickel warehouse stocks running high by historical standards and domestic demand remaining steady – neither improving nor worsening – the stainless price index reflects those conditions,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner.
According to data released by the US Department of Commerce on July 25, durable goods shipments recorded no change on a seasonally adjusted basis from May’s figures while new orders increased by 4.2%. Whether that remains enough to provide additional price support to stainless steel remains to be seen.
Which Prices Moved Most?
The price of Chinese primary nickel actually rose marginally after falling the previous month.
The nickel spot price dropped 0.8 percent on the LME to $13,565 per metric ton. At $13,645 per metric ton, the 3-month price of nickel was down 0.5 percent on the LME.
The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge fell 3.2 percent over the past month. After falling 3.1 percent, the Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge finished the month lower as well.
Chinese ferro-chrome inched up slightly, and Chinese ferro-moly marginally appreciated. Chinese 304 and 316 stainless steel coil and scrap prices all increased slightly over the month for US-based buyers.
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.