Stainless Steel (Flat) Market Remains Muted in Europe During Mid-December 2022
Stainless Steel (Flat) Market Remains Muted in Europe During Mid-December 2022

Stainless Steel (Flat) Market Remains Muted in Europe During Mid-December 2022

  • 14-Dec-2022 11:44 AM
  • Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa

Germany: Stainless Steel (Flat) prices have remained stagnant in the European market this month due to weak downstream demand. However, steelmakers' efforts to raise Stainless Steel (Flat) prices and values for January delivery are mostly stable month on month, as Europe's current economic downturn does not support higher prices. Stainless Steel (Flat) demand is expected to ascend as buyers replenish their stocks in January. If not hostile, Stainless Steel (Flat) sellers and buyers indicate low margins with average sales volume.

According to our sources, insufficient end-user demand and still-high inventory levels at downstream buyers continued to limit buying interest in Europe for Stainless Steel (Flat). However, European mills continued to press for higher prices, citing rising raw material and energy costs. Competitive overseas Stainless Steel (Flat) offers have increased price pressure in Southern Europe. However, most overseas suppliers withdraw from the market to reconsider quotations during the current assessment week. The evaluation was based on a few completed transactions, the low end of offers, and market sources' estimates of possible prices.

Buyers reported that SS 304 HR Plate prices for Ex Ruhr settled at USD 3403/MT in November, representing a 1.4% decrease in the German market. Furthermore, during this week, the buyer reported a transaction for Stainless Steel fixed at USD 3297/MT EXW, but other market participants have yet to confirm it widely. USD 3400/MT EXW was described as "barely the cost line" by the mill. They expect Stainless Steel (Flat) prices in the region to rise closer to USD 3500/MT EXW in the first quarter of 2023 as demand recovers.

Some Stainless Steel (Flat) mills were aiming for even higher prices in the USD 3350-3410/MT tonne ex-works range. On the other hand, buyers indicated tradeable values of USD 3300-3350/MT EXW, with most recent transactions reportedly closer to the lower end of the price range, but for small volumes. European buyers' stock levels of Stainless Steel (Flat) have generally been declining, and they should consider the possibility of a slight increase in stock levels before the end of the year. Thus, ChemAnalyst predicts that Stainless Steel (Flat) prices will rise in the coming weeks due to manufacturers' bullish expectations for upcoming seasonal inquiries in the first quarter of 2023.

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