Stainless MMI®: Chinese Production Up, So Are Prices

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Chinese stainless steel output rose 21.2 percent year-on-year to 10.69 million tons from January-June, according to data released Wednesday by the Stainless Steel Council of China Special Steel Enterprises Association (SSC). There was a rise in output of all stainless grades.

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Nickel continues to be said to be in deficit, but there’s a lot of it known to be stockpiled in warehouses for a market supposedly facing an imminent and dramatic supply shortfall. There sure is a lot of nickel around, Reuters’ Andy Home writes.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Stainless MMI® was the nickel 3-month price, which saw a 1.4 percent increase on the LME to $18,865 per metric ton. This comes on the heels of a 1.9 percent decline the week prior. The nickel spot price rose 1.1 percent on the LME to $18,725 per metric ton after falling 1.7 percent during the previous week. The Indian nickel cash price rose 1.0 percent to INR 1,151 ($19.01) per kilogram after falling 2.1 percent during the previous week.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the week. Chinese ferro-chrome prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 8,300 ($1,349) per metric ton. Prices for Chinese ferro-moly remained constant, closing the week at CNY 145,000 ($23,567) per metric ton.

Closing at CNY 129,050 ($20,975) per metric ton, the price of Chinese primary nickel remained unchanged for the week. Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 16,400 ($2,666) per metric ton. At CNY 16,100 ($2,617) per metric ton, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap did not change since the previous week. Closing at CNY 16,400 ($2,666) per metric ton, Chinese 304 stainless coil remained unchanged for the week. Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 26,000 ($4,226) per metric ton.

Korean 304 stainless coil traded sideways last week, hovering around KRW 4.2 million ($3,881) per metric ton. At KRW 2.6 million ($2,376) per metric ton, the price of Korean 430 stainless steel coil did not change since the previous week. The Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge closed at $0.90 per pound after a flat week. Closing at $1.28 per pound, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained unchanged for the week.

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