Outokumpu: Stainless Steel Demand Gradually Picking Up, Nickel Down 2.1% on the LME

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The latest annual accounts bulletin released by stainless steel producer Outokumpu indicates that the global stainless demand has shown signs of improvement this year. However, the outlook for Q1 2015 may vary by regions, it notes.

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According to Outokumpu, the order intake in the Europe, Middle East and African (EMEA) region has seen improvements on the back of strong underlying demand. The Asian market has continued to remain soft during January. The market condition in the Americas looks “promising,” although new orders continue to remain subdued for the moment, mainly due to the uncertainty in nickel prices.

On Tuesday, February 17, the day’s biggest mover was the spot price of nickel, which saw a 2.1% decline on the LME to $14,425 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel 3-month price fell 1.6% to $14,510 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price fell 0.8% to INR 916.80 ($14.74) per kilogram yesterday after two days of no change.

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Chinese stainless steel closed mixed on Tuesday. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 10,950 ($1,752) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-moly held flat at CNY 82,000 ($13,118) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel saw a 0.6% decline to CNY 106,900 ($17,101) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held steady at CNY 23,700 ($3,791) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 16,700 ($2,672) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 13,050 ($2,088) per metric ton.

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