European Hastelloy Prices are Rebounding Amidst Soaring Feedstock Cost
European Hastelloy Prices are Rebounding Amidst Soaring Feedstock Cost

European Hastelloy Prices are Rebounding Amidst Soaring Feedstock Cost

  • 25-Apr-2023 5:07 PM
  • Journalist: Robert Hume

In the week ending April 21, the Hastelloy prices showcased an up-swinging price trend in the European market as the raw material Nickel prices temporarily stabilized and rebounded. However, with the surge in nickel cost, the profit margin for Hastelloy production has recovered. The Hastelloy market is anticipating that the US Federal Reserve will halt its interest rate hike process and may even start gradually reducing interest rates this year due to the decrease in inflation data at the macro level. Affected by this, the Nickel Alloy sector surged significantly, with raw material nickel prices following suit. On the supply side, due to the persistent dwindling nickel prices in early Q2, the production progress of some domestic nickel production capacities has not met market expectations, and the stage of excess supply of pure nickel has not yet arrived. Regarding demand, the primary downstream industries of Hastelloy, such as reactors, and heat exchangers, have not significantly improved, but traditional demand for alloys and other Nickel products still shows sturdy growth. Under the tight supply and demand situation, the low inventory situation in the European Hastelloy market is difficult to change in the upcoming weeks.

European Hastelloy producers raised prices successfully last year with support from unattractive import offers. However, the situation has now reversed, and significant EU Hastelloy manufacturers are still pushing for further increases. Despite production curtailments, European commodity coil producers quoted shorter delivery lead times in Q1 than overseas sources. Asian mills tracked European Hastelloy market movements and maintained their price differential relative to European production at an unappealing level. European blast furnace production disruptions exacerbated output restrictions and extended delivery lead times, resulting in new domestic offers quoted for Q3 at import prices.

According to significant Hastelloy players, raw material Nickel prices in Asia and Europe have risen 7% to 10% since the start of April due to dwindling inventories and short covering by speculators. This increase has had a ripple effect on the prices of Hastelloy, which continue to rise. Market conditions for Hastelloy remain robust and buoyant. Traders have noted that China's economic reopening and better-than-expected industrial growth in Europe and the US have boosted demand for Hastelloy. A correction in the US dollar has also helped stimulate demand for Hastelloy.

According to our sources, downstream buyers are unsure about the future market direction and are reticent to invest in speculative stock. This is due to the widening gap between domestic and import offers, which buyers see as a signal for local mills to reduce their expectations. Despite this, European producers have responded to supply shortages by announcing further price increases, which exceed the already difficult-to-achieve values. Unfortunately, buyers have been skeptical about this announcement, as service centers and manufacturers cannot pass on previous price rises to their buyers.

Thus, ChemAnalyst predicts that the prices of Hastelloy in the European market will stay high in the coming months due to robust downstream demand from critical component manufacturers, even as raw material Nickel prices remain stable. Shortages will persist in the short term as supply remains at lower levels in the European market. However, it seems that European Hastelloy prices have hit their highest point and will stabilize soon.

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