European Stainless Steel HR Coil Prices Gear Up Amidst Improved Downstream Demand
- 24-Jan-2023 5:49 PM
- Journalist: Patrick Knight
Germany: After the turn of the year, Stainless Steel Hot Rolled (HR) Coil prices in the European market witnessed an up swinging trend owing to the significant growth in downstream inquiries. According to market participants, since late December, the German Stainless Steel HR Coil has been rising for the early January 2023 contracts. In January 2023, Stainless Steel HR Coil sentiment is more upbeat than in December 2022 as prices fell to USD 2653/MT at the end of the last quarter of 2022. Following a slow start in December, sales volumes of Stainless Steel HR Coil increased significantly in the last two weeks of the month. Sellers report that contracts were completed during the Christmas and New Year's holidays when the country was on break. Stainless Steel HR Coil demand has increased significantly from service centers and distributors, owing to increased inquiries and a positive market mood following the Christmas holiday.
According to our sources, demand for German Stainless Steel HR Coil increased in December 2022, and lead times increased in other European countries. Manufacturers are quoting lead times for Stainless Steel HR Coil delivery between February and March 2023. The growth in prices is primarily due to rising raw material prices, increased demand, and a lack of supply due to longer Stainless Steel HR Coil delivery times. According to market participants, the raw material costs and prices currently conveyed by EU Stainless Steel HR Coil producers point to further increases in alloy surcharges in February 2023. Although the majority of price increases from Asia were predicted for the end of January 2023, there have been no changes. Those with a direct line to Asia may still be able to get a good deal, despite the Lunar New Year celebrations.
Furthermore, raw material nickel prices have emerged on the London Metal Exchange (LME) as improved demand for cobalt and lithium futures highlights nickel and the other key metal used in electric vehicle batteries. Other commodities, such as scrap and molybdenum, have also increased in value since December 2022 and January 2023. Molybdenum and its products, in particular, have seen a whopping 30% price increase.
As a result, ChemAnalyst expects Stainless Steel HR Coil prices to stagnate as the market remains uncertain and slow to resume after the winter holiday break. Despite some relatively good downstream demand, there is concern about high prices, and distributors resist price increases. European mills are attempting to raise their Stainless Steel HR Coil prices for February delivery but are failing.