Stainless steel REPORT 2014
According to distribution group Damstahl, demand from fabricators have slowed somewhat,
but orders from stockholders are substantially down. Stockists do not want to receive any new material this year and wait as long as possible with orders for 2015 by checking further nickel price development.
Stainless steel base prices have not increased in Q3/14 and production volumes have decreased compared to Q2/14. Currently, base prices are under pressure again and show a downward tendency. Chinese mills still sell significant volumes of 304 CR coils up to 300 EUR below European mills prices.
According to Damstahl Report ,European stainless crude steel production is expected to reach 7.5 mill. ton in 2014 (+5.5% compared to 7.1mill. t in 2013). Production is expected to be considerably higher in Sweden (+10%) and Slovenia (+14%), while on the other hand Germany after the closure of Krefeld – will show a 10% decline of production in 2014.
NICKEL: LME prices fell from almost 20,000 USD/t in the beginning of September to around 15,500 USD/t in mid-November. Demand from European and especially Chinese mills remained subdued after the summer period. Falling Nickel pig iron production in China might put nickel prices under pressure in Q1/15, but there is no Nickel pig iron shortage so far as China was able to stretch Indonesian material with NPI ore from the Philippines. Hence the gap compared to last year’s NPI production is less than 100,000 t this year.