Throughout the Halfway of Q1 2023, US Stainless Steel CR Coil Imports Increase Sharply
- 22-Feb-2023 5:22 PM
- Journalist: Robert Hume
In the US market, Stainless Steel CR (Cold Rolled) Coil prices are stagnant during February amidst a volatile supply-demand outlook and fluctuating raw material costs. According to market participants, Stainless Steel imports to the US increased by roughly 40% in January due to rising domestic manufacturer offers. Imports of certain Stainless Steel products, such as Stainless Steel CR Coil and Stainless Steel HR Coil, have improved as high US prices have made lower-cost imports more enticing. Stainless Steel CR Coil mills in Europe and the US are frequently uninterested in large-scale production of grades, so companies in these regions frequently rely on imports from Asia to meet their requirements. Additionally, US Stainless Steel CR Coil manufacturers have begun to publish their alloy surcharges for March 2023.
According to our sources, raw material prices such as molybdenum and chromium skyrocketed in the first two weeks of February, prompting major players to raise their Stainless Steel CR Coil prices. However, amid the flurry of announcements, service centers are wary of rising Stainless Steel CR Coil prices. Indeed, most market participants do not expect the uptrend to last beyond the first quarter, as rate hikes continue to put pressure on the US economy. Furthermore, mill lead times have increased slightly since the beginning of the year. This could indicate that supplies have run out. It could, however, be the result of buyers exploiting the trend inversion to optimize pricing and obtain better discounts from domestic players.
Many buyers are opting for imports in the face of rising domestic Stainless Steel CR Coil prices. The availability of import offers in 2023, combined with the addition of new North American steel capacity, will alleviate supply constraints and may weigh on high domestic prices. Imports of Stainless Steel CR Coil will continue to play an important role in the US market as long as domestic prices remain higher than global prices.
ChemAnalyst anticipates that Stainless Steel CR Coil prices will fall in the coming month as a result of ample stock availability and slower downstream inquiries. Domestic mills will have to incentivize buyers to return to them and stop them from placing marginal import orders, which will put additional pressure on the Stainless Steel CR Coil pricing.