ISSF: Stainless Production Up in 2014; Another Week of LME Price Declines

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The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) recently released figures for the first half of 2014 showing that stainless steel melt shop production increased by 10.6% year–on–year to 20.9 million metric tons (mmt). Production increased in all regions except for Central and Eastern Europe.

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Despite a general time of prosperity for the alloying metal in stainless steel, nickel futures against posted a decline for the week.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Stainless MMI® was the 3-month price of nickel, which saw a 3.3 percent decline on the LME to $17,935 per metric ton. This week marked the third in a row of declining prices for the metal. Closing out the third week of declining prices, the Indian nickel cash price dropped by 3.2 percent, finishing at INR 1,102 ($18.13) per kilogram. The spot price of nickel dropped 3.1 percent on the LME this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices at $17,875 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the week. Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 8,300 ($1,352) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese ferro-moly closed flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,616) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel closed at CNY 129,050 ($21,018) per metric ton after a flat week. Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 16,400 ($2,671) per metric ton. Prices for Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained constant, closing the week at CNY 16,100 ($2,622) per metric ton. At CNY 16,400 ($2,671) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Chinese 304 stainless coil. At CNY 26,000 ($4,235) per metric ton, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil did not change since the previous week.

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 week finished with no movement for Korean 430 stainless steel coil. This past week, the Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge kept quiet, holding at at $8,856 per pound. Following a steady week, prices for the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge closed flat at $1.26 per pound.

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. 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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