TEX reported that most Japanese cold rolled stainless steel mills are predicted to shelve negotiations for Asia for June/July shipment as the LME nickel price soared to USD 8.80 per pound in late last week.
If the nickel prices continue to rise to the level of USD 9 to USD 10, the Japanese mills are likely to set their prices to SUS304 at around USD 3,500 CFR.
The stainless steel mills are saying responding to soaring prices of nickel that their offers cannot be done with fear and against customers being necessary to buy products soon, they will limit the offer validity to 3 to 4 days and make offers at more than USD 3,000 CFR in case of the nickel price being the level of USD 9.00. Meantime, the overall domestic demand for CR austenitic stainless sheets is brisk, and in addition to this, as some mills are conducting the periodic maintenance of facilities, there will be no production problem even to put off export negotiations, so they are in a stance to wait and see for the time being.
In the Wuxi market of China, the price of CR austenitic stainless sheets rose by CNY 700 last week. In the Chinese stainless steel market where had been moving slowly, signs of market movement begin to have been shown at long last. It is because although its water front inventory of nickel ore is decreasing while it is increasing import of ore from the Philippines as a countermeasure against Indonesia’s export ban of nickel ore, prices of home made ore are also rising, so such situations are seen to have an impact on nickel pig iron and so on.
The Japanese mills have already lost their competitiveness on austenitic ones to SUS304. Therefore, if they have to cut their prices competing with other countries, they could study to commit sale of ferritic stainless sheets which have been developed as a substitute of products to SUS304.
Source – The TEX Report