The Stainless Steel Monthly Metals Index (MMI) skyrocketed this month, increasing by seven points. The current reading stands at 84.
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The index inched higher driven by the increase in stainless steel surcharges and a sharp increase in LME nickel prices in May. Other related metals in the stainless steel basket also increased.
Nickel price momentum seems to have recovered again.
LME nickel prices increased at a quicker pace in May. The increases continued through the beginning of June, driving prices to 2014 highs.
LME nickel prices keep moving away from 2017 lows.
MetalMiner previously recommended buying some volume forward. Given the current uncertainty in the steel and stainless industries, nickel prices remain supported for the short term.
In addition, a fundamental tightness in the nickel market has added support to the latest nickel price increases.
Domestic Stainless Steel Market
Following the recovery in stainless steel momentum, domestic stainless steel surcharges increased again this month. The 316/316L-coil NAS surcharge reached $1.02/pound.
The pace of stainless steel surcharge increases, however, appears to have slowed again this month. Yet stainless steel surcharges remain in a clear uptrend and rest well above 2015-2017 lows.
What This Means for Industrial Buyers
Stainless steel momentum appears stronger this month, as steel prices are skyrocketing. As both steel and nickel remain in a bull market, buying organizations may want to follow the market closely for opportunities to buy on the dips.
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Actual Stainless Steel Prices and Trends
Chinese 304 stainless steel coil prices increased again this month by 2.02%, while Chinese 316 stainless steel coil prices rose further by 6.61%. Chinese Ferrochrome prices increased this month by 2.9%, to $1,990/mt.
Nickel prices increased by 10.5% to $15,210/mt.