stainless steel price

aluminum price landing page

The MetalMiner metals price landing pages (aluminum, carbon steel and stainless steel) now feature LME three-month prices set against MetalMiner’s forecast track record, in addition to “should-cost” prices.

If you’ve visited MetalMiner recently, you might have noticed some changes to our aluminum, carbon steel and stainless steel price landing pages.

The pages can be found from the homepage’s top menu under “Metal Prices.”

As of this month, visitors to these pages can now find a modified, interactive price chart modeling the LME three-month price against the MetalMiner Monthly Outlook forecast track record and including MetalMiner buy signals.

“The main idea here is to showcase savings we can make for our customers if they use our Monthly Outlook,” said Marcos Briones Alvarez, MetalMiner’s procurement forecasting data analyst.

Particularly in a time of considerable volatility, it’s important to stay abreast of what’s going on in metals markets, from capacity developments to pertinent trade news to price drivers.

Metals buying organization can generate savings year-round by subscribing to the MetalMiner Monthly Metal Outlook

Aluminum

In addition, on a weekly basis the pages will feature updated “should-cost” metals prices by grade, width, gauge, etc.

In short, what “should” something — 5052 aluminum sheet, for example — cost?

“Many competitors publish the LME three-month price along with the MW premium,” MetalMiner CEO and Executive Editor Lisa Reisman notes. “Few, if any, publish the conversion adder based upon grade, gauge, width etc. The MetalMiner aluminum should-cost model provides a level of granularity not previously available in the marketplace. In addition, the aluminum model can be used by global market participants vs. only North American companies.”

Carbon steel

Similarly, the new-look carbon steel page also differentiates itself from other offerings.

“All of the published price mechanisms currently available in the market involve the ‘base’ price (e.g., the HRC or the CRC number),” Reisman added. “However, no price index exists to see the total price computed with the base metal, plus all of the adders and extras at the grade level.”

The should-cost metal offers buyers additional granularity in the form of pricing by mill. In short, industrial buying organizations can arm themselves with the necessary knowledge to get the best possible deal (a topic we cover in our dedicated best practice library).

“Moreover, the MetalMiner carbon steel should-cost model allows the buying organization to quickly see which mill charges what price for each adder and extra,” Reisman continued. “So, in addition to providing a total price, the capability allows the buying organization to make a sourcing award decision by mill.”

Stainless steel

Last but not least, the revamped stainless steel page also offers something no one else does.

“There is currently no North American stainless steel price index or mechanism for any buying organization to either: a) negotiate with suppliers or b) establish as a contracting mechanism,” Reisman added.

So what, exactly, makes the MetalMiner stainless steel should-cost model so unique?

“The stainless steel should-cost model provides the buying organization with visibility into all of the elements comprising total cost at the grade level (e.g., 304, 201, 439, etc.),” Reisman said.

Those elements can be broken as such: base price+width/gauge adders+finish+CTL (cut to length)+vinyl adders.

Looking for metal price forecasting and data analysis in one easy-to-use platform? Inquire about MetalMiner Insights today. 

stainless steel

Maksym Yemelyanov/Adobe Stock

The Stainless Monthly Metals Index (MMI) increased by 4.4% for this month’s MMI value.

August 2020 Stainless MMI chart

Surcharges increase for a third month

While stainless demand continues to remain in line with U.S. flat-rolled producer supply, alloy surcharges are rising for the third month in a row.

Why? The surcharge increases are again due to an increase in the nickel price.

Over the past month, the LME nickel price increased over 6% to $14,433/mt as of Aug. 6.

Similarly, the Chinese nickel price increased to $16,515/mt (or CNY 113,850/mt).

Are rising surcharges causing concern? Make sure your base prices are held fixed. See how service centers negotiate with you.

Nickel price jumps over supply fears

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau reported that Philippines nickel exports declined by 28% year on year to 102,310 tons during the first half of the year.

The export decline made waves on the LME and SHFE, where the nickel price increased.

Top producers reassured the market that no further disruptions are anticipated for the remainder of the year, despite coronavirus cases having increased since the first half of the year.

Moreover, the largest exporter of high-grade nickel, SR Languyan Mining Corp, will likely deplete by the end of this year, according to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the region. This would mean the Philippines may fail to keep up with their current exports to China, further supporting the nickel price.

Demand in China has remained high. Macquarie analyst Jim Lennon estimated Chinese mills produced 2.88 million tons of stainless steel in July, or a 4.8% year-over-year increase. High-nickel containing 300-series grades of stainless grew 17.5% year over year to 1.46 million tons in July (an all-time high).

However, Lennon still expects a nickel ore surplus of around 100,000 tons for 2020.

Some demand recovery in the U.S.

The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) reported U.S. manufacturing technology orders in June increased to $346.7 million, 56% more than the previous month. June orders, however, increased just 6% from June 2019.

Orders from January to June totaled $1.69 billion in 2020, down 26% year over year.

According to the AMT, manufacturing technology encompasses metal cutting, forming and fabricating. One of the industries that saw the largest order increase was the automotive sector, which almost doubled orders from June 2019. Meanwhile, agricultural equipment manufacturers nearly quadrupled and manufacturers of HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment more than tripled orders for manufacturing technology.

The AMT expected a similar amount of orders for the month of July as demand bounces back.

Actual metals prices and trends

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge declined 1.6% month over month to $0.79/pound. The 304 surcharge rose 0.8% to $0.61/pound.

LME primary three-month nickel rose 7.5% to $13,806/mt.

Chinese 316 and 304 cold-rolled coil rose to $2,923.63/mt and $2,106.74/mt, respectively.

Chinese primary nickel rose 8.0% to $15,592.71/mt. Indian primary nickel rose 7.4% to $13.85/kilogram.

FeCr lumps increased 1.3% to $1,490.48/mt.

Make sure you are following the five best practices of sourcing stainless steel

iron ore

nikitos77/Adobe Stock

Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner.

Read more

All the base metals have been lifted by an expected end to lockdowns and a pickup in activity, particularly in China this quarter.

The weakening U.S. dollar has added a further fillip in recent weeks.

Read more

stainless steel

Maksym Yemelyanov/Adobe Stock

The Stainless Monthly Metals Index (MMI) increased by 3% this month after holding flat for two consecutive months.

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gui yong nian/Adobe Stock

If you are a metals purchaser, it is imperative to mitigate risk and keep costs down whenever possible.

Of course, volatile market conditions can very quickly disrupt a buying organization’s approach, whether it’s due to the imposition of new tariffs, the coronavirus outbreak or the oil price plunge (just to name a few recent events with seismic impacts on metals markets).

With that said, changing market conditions require a flexible, knowledge-based approach, including knowing the best times to buy and which contract mechanisms to utilize for each market type.

MetalMiner CEO Lisa Reisman and Vice President of Business Solutions Don Hauser broke down all of the above and more during a webinar Wednesday, June 24, titled “How to Set Your Metal Purchasing Strategy in Volatile Markets.”

The full webinar recording can be listened to on demand from the MetalMiner video archive.

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leszekglasner/Adobe Stock

The Stainless Monthly Metals Index (MMI) held flat this month.

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Andrey Kuzmin/Adobe Stack

President Donald Trump had scant regard, nor interest, in the impact his decision in 2018 to impose 25% import duties on steel products would have on other markets around the world — his focus was, reasonably enough, purely on the U.S.

Read more

Maksym Yemelyanov/Adobe Stock

Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and the metals storylines here on MetalMiner:

Read more

Nickel prices have seen support in recent months more from supply-side concerns.

Initially, support came from bringing forward of Indonesia’s raw material export ban. More recently, support came from concerns the coronavirus pandemic would shut down mines in the Philippines and Indonesia, in addition to disruption of shipping to top consumer China.

Read more

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