For The Quarter Ending September 2022
In the North American market, the SMO 254 prices witnessed mixed sentiments during the third quarter of 2022 because of the demand-supply imbalance amidst the inflow of imports and steadily falling raw material prices. Fears that the United States is either already in or on the verge of a recession had reduced purchases. Many buyers refuse purchases that would increase their inventories, preferring to keep stocks tight rather than take risks in an uncertain market. Meanwhile, smelters were hesitant to reduce spot prices further due to high ore costs, resulting in a market stalemate. Orders were still firm through the end of the year, but buyers fear that they will start pulling back on orders, either canceling them or pushing them into 2023. As a ripple effect, the SMO 254 Plate prices for FOB Texas (USA) settled at USD 12031/MT.
SMO 254 prices on the Chinese market experienced an unprecedented spike in the third quarter of 2022 due to rising molybdenum prices. Steel mill output continued to fall in August and September, which pressurized traders because of inventory levels and the remote likelihood of price reductions. However, downstream consumer demand did not significantly improve, and price movements were complex. Some steel mills were even increasing SMO 254 output. As a result, merchants exercised extreme caution when making purchases. According to market participants, the terminal has not improved significantly. Exports may benefit from the reduction and shutdown of overseas stainless-steel production. To summarise, there has been no change on the supply side. As the traditional peak season approaches, stainless steel consumption may improve to some extent in the future. Stainless steel is expected to have a strong shock trend in the short term. Thus, SMO 254 (5*800*1850) prices for FOB Zhanjiang (China) settled at USD 14455/MT.
According to market participants, bearish sentiment remained in the European market while trading activity remained low, and mills failed to pass on rising energy costs to steel prices. According to market participants, German players had already accumulated most of the stock in the European market, and distributors struggled to move supplies down when it came to the commodity. Buyers reported that the market was tranquil; no one was interested in making deals because distributors were sitting on large amounts of material they needed to get rid of by the end of the year. According to the market, demand from end-consumers has also been lower than usual for this time of year. Although European stocks remain high, some producers have already begun to raise their prices. Therefore, the SMO 254 Plate prices for FOB Hamburg (Germany) settled at USD 14900/MT.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
SMO 254 prices in the United States increased in the second quarter of 2022 due to concerns about inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions, despite robust downstream demand. However, the scarcity of raw materials, particularly nickel and molybdenum, caused SMO 254 prices to skyrocket in April. According to market participants, the SMO 254 cost has remained stable despite high demand and increased production activity in May and June. However, some gaps have grown significantly in the transition from Q2 to Q3, such as low demand in China affecting SMO 254 costs, and US Oil and Gas growth could spur demand further. According to buyers, sellers' delivery times have increased to near-record levels due to stretched global supply chains, inflationary price pressure, and geopolitical tension. Consistent demand and limited import challenges compelled market participants to opt for a wait-and-see approach for further price momentum.
The SMO 254 quotations in China experienced a mixed trend in the second quarter, owing to increased inflation rates over raw material prices, a fluctuating demand outlook, and currency depreciation. In the Chinese domestic market, nickel prices increased by 55%, and molybdenum prices increased by 8% in April, owing to decreased supply despite increased demand, which caused producers to become hesitant about exports. Furthermore, the Yuan exchange rate has fallen precipitously since April 2022, and Chinese lockdowns, the drift of the US dollar index under Fed interest rate hikes, and an increase in demand for the US dollar due to certain uncertainties surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war have multiplied the impact on export activity and Yuan depreciation. With rising inflation, central banks worldwide are raising interest rates to slow their monetary growth rates, affecting SMO 254 demand. Firms also continued to reduce purchases due to outbreaks and logistical disruptions.
During the second quarter of 2022, the SMO 254 prices witnessed an up-swinging trend owing to the robust demand and soaring raw material costs amidst skyrocketing monthly alloy surcharges. As per sellers, raw materials prices increased, forcing mills to transfer the expenses into final products, thus increasing raw material and manufacturing costs, not only for input materials but also cost increases in processing, as the background. However, European mills have ordered until June, but no new orders for July. Because of skyrocketing monthly alloy surcharges in recent months, the traditional formula pushed SMO 254 up for May and June delivery. Since May, the market has been paused as stocks are high. Also, the service centers and end-users across Europe have stopped purchasing due to the unsustainable price levels for SMO 254 and other Stainless Steel products. Customers are also reluctant to buy because they believe prices will fall, but end-use demand is still evident.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
During the first quarter of 2022, concerns about inflationary pressures and supply chain delays resulting from the Russian-Ukraine war drove SMO 254 prices in the US market. However, the scarcity of raw materials, particularly nickel and molybdenum, caused SMO 254 costs to skyrocket. According to purchasers, sellers' delivery times increased to near-record levels due to stretched global supply chains, inflationary price pressure, and geopolitical uncertainty. Market participants were forced to adopt a wait-and-see attitude for further price progress due to steady demand and limited import hurdles. As a ripple effect, the prices of SMO 254 soared in the regional market.
The SMO 254 quotations in the Asia-Pacific rose in the first quarter of 2022, owing to higher inflation rates in raw materials prices, particularly for iron ore, nickel, and molybdenum. Furthermore, the resurgence of COVID-19, combined with a stretched supply chain, deteriorated SMO 254's demand projection. Nickel prices jumped to 55% in the Chinese domestic market, while molybdenum prices climbed to 8%, owing to a shortfall in supply despite growing demand, prompting producers to be cautious about exports. Furthermore, due to the invasion of Ukraine, global market participants were more hesitant to export raw materials, causing raw material prices to skyrocket. SMO 254 (5*800*1850) prices were pushed up due to decreasing inventory levels and settled at Ex Sichuan for USD 13164/MT during March.
During Q1 of 2022, the SMO 254 quotation in the UAE witnessed an uptrend due to the severe volatility in raw materials prices, primarily Nickel and Chromium. Additionally, the stretched demand-supply gap coupled with Russia's invasion and succeeding sanctions on Russian raw materials by western nations have restrained all cargo resources to and from Russia until further notice. However, the raw material suppliers of SMO 254 in the global market became more reluctant to export raw materials and metal, which has provoked a grappling situation for alternative quotations of supplies. Also, the rising prices of crude and energy have compelled raw material iron ore prices to rise by 18%, and Molybdenum prices up to 8% in the domestic market of UAE. As a ripple effect, the prices of SMO 254 soared in the domestic market of UAE at the end of March.