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European stainless steel alloy surcharges at six year highs in June

Steel News - Published on Wed, 23 May 2018

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Platts reported that monthly alloy surcharges on austenitic grades of stainless steel flat-rolled products in Europe are set to rise for the fifth successive month in April, reaching six-year highs, first mill announcements indicated Monday. Finland’s Outokumpu, the continent’s largest producer, set its alloy adjustment factor for type 304 (4301) flat products at EUR 1,527 per tonne (USD 1,797 per tonne) for June, up EUR 98 per tonnefrom May to the highest since March 2012, basis Platts’ records. The June figure is up 18% from EUR 1,290 per tonne in January.

Having retreated from a brief spike above USD 16,000 per tonne in April as the market was panicked by news of US sanctions targeting a number of Russian companies and individuals, dollar-denominated nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange have been trending steadily higher this month, moving back up towards the USD 15,000 per tonne level last week.

Through Friday, the LME nickel cash settlement price averaged USD 14,103 per tonne so far for May, compared with USD 13,935 per tonne in April. The last time the settlement price averaged above USD 14,000 per tonne for a full month was February 2015.

Outokumpu’s surcharge for molybdenum-bearing type 316 (4401) flat products was set at EUR 2,275 per tonne for June, up Eur 128 per tonne from May to its highest level since April 2012, and up 23% from January.

Spot molybdenum oxide prices have firmed since late last year, driven by solid underlying demand and expectations of tight supply. But having moved above $13/lb at the beginning of March for the first time since September 2014, basis Platt’ assessments, prices have since drifted back.

The Platts daily molybdenum oxide price assessment was USD 11.25 to USD 11.45/lb May 18, down from USD 12.30 to USD 12.50/lb at the beginning of May.

Outokumpu’s June surcharge for nickel-free type 430 flat products rose Eur31 from May’s level to EUR 717 per tonne its highest since June last year.

Outokumpu’s graphite electrode surcharge on stainless steel products orders in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Asia, introduced last September, remained unchanged at Eur30/mt through May. The company has yet to post a June figure.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 23 May 2018
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