The MEPS world average stainless steel price is expected to continue its steady recovery, due, predominantly, to rising raw material costs. The world average price for 304 cold rolled coil increased, in August, to a figure 8.4 percent higher than the number recorded one year ago.
Raw material expenditure is predicted to grow, moderately, from its current level. The LME average nickel price, in the coming year, is forecast to be around 4 percent higher than in the previous twelve month period.
Supply in the chromium market remains tight, with spot prices continuing to climb. Quarterly ferrochrome values are forecast to increase, in each of the next three contract periods.
Molybdenum prices are likely to be reasonably stable, in the short term, with moderate advances predicted during the first half of 2018.
In North America, rising raw material costs will push alloy surcharges upwards, substantially, in September and October. A strong revival in transaction values is predicted for next year. The effective price, in August 2018, for type 304 cold rolled coil, is forecast to be 16 percent higher than last month’s figure. Any new trade actions by the US government could result in domestic prices rising above those that MEPS is currently forecasting.
In Europe, increases in basis prices will continue to be constrained by surplus production capacity and competition from imports. Nevertheless, predicted growth in mill input expenditure should lead to rising transaction values, during the early months of 2018. Effective prices, in twelve months’ time, are forecast to be around 7 percent higher than the current figures.
Selling values for stainless steel products, in Asia, are expected to strengthen, in the next few months. Over the coming year, however, the potential for price advances is likely to be restricted by excess supply, particularly in China. Transaction figures, in August 2018, are predicted to be broadly similar to those reported this month.