For the Quarter Ending June 2023
The US Stainless Steel CR Coil Sheet showed an initial increase in the second quarter of 2023 before beginning to decline in the third quarter. In April, the rise in the price of nickel as a feedstock on the international market helped to lower production costs for Stainless Steel CR Coil. Because of robust consumer spending at the beginning of the quarter, the consumer price index was higher than average, signaling a strong start to the second quarter's economy. The robust domestic downstream demand helped to keep the consumption rate on the higher side. The service industry experienced tremendous expansion, and because of rising customer demand, was able to offer services at higher offer prices. Because of the debt crisis and the rising rate of inflation, prices decreased somewhat significantly in the second quarter of H2. The formerly steady US economic system collapsed, and the market environment turned gloomy. As a result of the agreement the US government reached to extend the debt for two more years and the stability of US economic conditions, the price of the Stainless-Steel CR Coil Sheet increased in June. Consumer purchasing power was lowered because of the interest rate increase, increased living expenses, and diminishing household savings, which resulted in a decline in the demand for Stainless Steel CR Coil Sheets on the US spot market. At the end of the second quarter, the US government's numerous initiatives increased downstream demand for Stainless Steel CR Coil.
Stainless Steel CR Coil sheet prices in China began to steadily fall in May and June after originally rising at the start of the second quarter. Prices surged in April as feedstock Nickel prices jumped, which gave the manufacturing of Stainless-Steel CR Coil Sheets on the Chinese spot market a significant cost boost. The price of Stainless-Steel CR Coil declined in the Chinese spot market in the latter half of the second quarter as a result of rising supply and weak downstream demand. The downstream demand from both domestic and international industries was at an all-time high. April's price increase was due to a controlled shipment by the suppliers. The overseas Indonesian mines' enhanced extraction and production rate led to an increase in the supply of feedstock nickel. Due to the abundance of pig iron and iron ore raw materials on the global market and their lower cost, the Chinese Stainless Steel CR Coil manufacturers were purchasing a significant volume of Indonesian nickel pig iron. Local Chinese mills saw a rise in production because of POSCO, a significant producer of stainless steel, increasing its output. Due to the introduction of the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, demand from downstream sectors decreased in the most recent quarter.
Prices for German Stainless Steel CR Coil Sheets originally increased before falling in the second quarter of 2023. The higher price of nickel feedstock in April contributed to considerable cost support to produce Stainless-Steel CR Coil in German mills. The local downstream auto industry saw a rise in demand because of the strong sales of electric vehicles. As a result, the Stainless-Steel CR Coil prices in the German spot market remained high in April. Inflation increased and the state of the world economy deteriorated in the second half of the quarter, which discouraged buyers from entering the market. Since Indonesian Nickel Pig Iron and Iron Ore were in high demand and available on the global market at discounted prices, the Chinese Stainless Steel CR Coil makers purchased a significant amount of it. As POSCO, a significant producer of stainless steel, boosted its output, production rates rose in the nearby Chinese mills. Due to the approaching Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, downstream businesses' demand decreased in the most recent quarter.
For the Quarter Ending March 2023
In the US market, the Stainless Steel CR Coil prices showcased a downswing in the price momentum in the first quarter of 2023 owing to the falling raw material prices amidst the reduced buying sentiments. The number of stocks available in the spot market increased significantly in January. In February, certain Stainless-Steel products saw an increase in imports as high US prices made lower-cost imports more appealing. Companies in Europe and the US frequently rely on imports from Asia to meet their needs, as mills in these regions are often uninterested in large-scale production of grades. Service centers are concerned about rising Stainless Steel CR Coil prices amid the flurry of announcements, but most market participants believe the uptrend will end in the first quarter due to interest rate hikes and pressure on the US economy. Manufacturing output in the United States fell in March due to lower demand, production, and employment. Multiple buyers are concerned that pricing will peak and then fall off in the late second quarter and into the second half of the year. The SS-304 CR plate (6 mm) prices for Ex Florida (USA) settled at USD 6528/MT.
In the first quarter of 2023, the price trend of Stainless Steel CR Coils in the Chinese market remained stagnant. This was due to fluctuating raw material prices and production cuts, and maintenance in several steel mills. During the Chinese New Year, many plant closures caused Chinese stainless-steel producers to halt deliveries temporarily. Despite slow downstream demand recovery, steel plant resources continued to arrive, resulting in high stainless-steel stockpiles and lower resource usage than anticipated. The presence of inventory pressure made it challenging to maintain high stainless steel prices. However, the steel plant resumed production, downstream demand slowly recovered, and inventory remained high. Due to steel plant pressure, raw material prices, particularly ferronickel, have deteriorated. As a result, domestic iron factories implemented production reduction programs since they could not accept market-low pricing for ferronickel below the cost line. Weak demand and large inventory levels caused a decline in earnings, and the Stainless Steel-304 CR Coil (3 mm) prices for Ex Shanghai (China) settled at USD 2580/MT.
In the first quarter of 2023, the European market experienced stagnancy in the price trend of Stainless Steel CR Coils due to slow activity in both upstream coil demand and downstream tube and sheet demand. In January, import offers were not available on the market, and traditional sellers to southern Europe were not quoting, except for limited-time offers for small allocations that expire quickly. Steelmakers secured their order books for the first quarter, and many market participants viewed the increased demand as illusory. Despite European mills attempting to raise `Stainless Steel cold and hot rolled coil prices in February and March, most countries reported stable values compared to January. Furthermore, lead times for imported Asian-origin material increased, making import purchases less appealing. The mills' bullish mood in March was fueled by tight supply caused by last year's equipment stoppages and technical issues at some of Europe's plants. Consequently, the price of Stainless Steel-304 CR Sheet (2 mm) settled at USD 3199/MT due to limited supply.
For the Quarter Ending December 2022
Towards the end of 2022, the Stainless-Steel CR Coil prices showcased a persistent downward trend in the North American market owing to the higher supplies amidst constraint downstream demand outlook. Buyers were focused on reducing inventories, keeping them out of the spot market, and allowing them to take advantage of shorter lead times from domestic mills. Mills had maintained their margins, but as spot prices fell, they were forced to give, despite scrap dealers and traders claiming that the shredded scrap premium to prime grades was not sustainable beyond November. The peak of the off-season occurred in December, and the industrial chain had contracted even more due to this year's terminal demand. As a result, the price of SS-304 CR plate (6 mm) for Ex Florida (USA) settled at USD 6645/MT.
During the closure of the fourth quarter, the Stainless-Steel CR Coil prices edged downward in the Chinese market as the downstream inquiries decreased amidst the COVID control and prevention measures. According to market participants, the unplanned arrival of stainless-steel CR Coil after the festival and rising problems with raw material supply contributed to the October price increase. Some merchants provided discounts near the end of Q4. The explosion at an Indonesian nickel pig iron facility, the weak dollar, and news that the Goro mine in New Caledonia was reducing output due to a tailings dam leak all contributed to the nickel price increase. Mills were scrambling for nickel supplies because nickel producers had very little product available. On the demand side, Stainless steel prices rebounded more in mid-December, influenced by futures prices. As a result, the Ex Shanghai Stainless Steel 304 CR Coil (3 mm) price settled at USD 2668/MT.
In the European market, Stainless Steel CR Coil prices exhibited a price trend stagnancy in the fourth quarter of 2022, as prices remained unchanged due to persistently weak downstream demand. Due to increased price volatility, European steel producers considered moving to shorter terms with fixed-price contract customers, particularly automakers, in October. Some mills have ceased offering and will return to the market in the first half of January. Steelmakers' efforts to raise Stainless Steel CR Coil prices and values for January delivery remained consistent month after month, as Europe's current economic downturn did not support higher prices. Domestic prices for SS Cold-rolled coil in Europe were unchanged at the end of Q4 due to a market slowdown ahead of the Christmas holidays. Thus, the discussions of Stainless Steel-304 CR Sheet (2 mm) prices for Ex Ruhr (Germany) settled at USD 3138/MT.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
SS CR Coil prices in the North American market fell during the third quarter of 2022 as the market was divided on sentiment, with a price increase announced in mid-August failing to gain traction. The most extended lead times were reported in mid-September. Large service centers expressed their wait-and-see strategies had not changed in the last week as they await increased demand. The ongoing labor talks between the United Steelworkers (USW) and integrated steelmaker US Steel appeared to reach a stalemate towards the quarter end. Many buyers refused to make purchases that would increase their inventories, preferring to keep stocks tight rather than risk investing in an uncertain market. Many buyers were skeptical that the price increases do more than just level the demand. Towards the quarter end, the prices of Stainless Steel CR Coil were USD 7360 Ex Florida (USA).
In the Chinese market, Stainless Steel CR coil prices fell in the third quarter of 2022 amidst falling raw material prices and a subdued domestic and international demand outlook. Due to incomplete orders, buyers purchased materials sparingly, and market sales performance remained unsatisfactory in Q3. Stainless steel prices rose during the monsoon season in most Chinese provinces, and demand increased during the quarter. Meanwhile, Russian manufacturers offered attractive discounts on stainless steel to cater to Asia's mass market, which forced Chinese players to lower their export duty. Stainless steel mills continued to curtail production in August and September, despite high stainless-steel transactions. Market participants claim that there are currently few stainless-steel sheets available. Thus, the discussions for the Stainless Steel-304 CR plate (6 mm) prices for Ex Florida (USA) and CFR Alabama (USA) settled at USD 7360/MT and USD 6924/MT.
In the European market, the Stainless-Steel CR Coil prices plunged in the third quarter of 2022 because of the rising concerns about consumption, the energy crisis, and a looming European recession. According to market participants, steel sales in the second half of 2022 were much lower than expected, so distributors still had large stocks of flat steel products. Furthermore, trading activity remained low, and mills failed to pass on rising energy costs to steel prices. According to suppliers, the German players accumulated most of the coil stock in the European market, and distributors struggled to move supplies down when it came to commodity coils. In addition, rising energy prices impacted service centers, forcing them to operate at lower rates and consume less steel. Thus, the Stainless Steel-304 CR Sheet (2 mm) prices for Ex-Ruhr and FOB Hamburg settled at USD 3099/MT and USD 3243/MT, respectively.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
In the US market, the Stainless-Steel CR Coil prices increased due to the lower inventory level and the decline in production activity. Because of the rising inflationary pressures and supply-chain disruptions, new orders fell. Firms augmented production activity with current holdings of inputs and finished goods as input purchases slowed and supply chain delays eased. At the same time, firms raised inflationary concerns once more as business confidence in the year ahead fell. As a result of inflation, material shortages, and delivery delays, some customers paused or reduced their purchases of goods, which was accompanied by a renewed decline in overseas buyer demand. As per market players, the manufacturing sector in the United States remains demand-driven, and supply-chain constrained. As a ripple effect, the prices of stainless-steel CR coils surged.
In the Indian market, the price of SS 304 CR Coil (2 mm) witnessed an upswing during the second quarter of 2022 due to the robust demand and higher nickel prices. As per domestic suppliers, manufacturers have passed hikes on the cost increase to end consumers, which has led to a dampening of demand, hurting the Steel industry further. In addition to rising materials costs, fluctuating exchange rates and rising operational costs are other factors driving price increases in the country following Production curtailment. Additionally, India imposes a 15% import tax on stainless steel coils and Aluminium extrusion, a further bullish factor for overseas stainless-steel exporters. Mills are working on other prospects to prevail in the export market amid the export duties. As per market players, several weeks of sturdy demand have kept domestic and export prices for stainless steel in India and import prices in East Asia stable. As a ripple effect, the SS 304 CR Coil (2 mm) prices for Ex. Chennai (India) settled at INR 320000/MT.
Stainless Steel 304 CR Sheet prices in Germany fell in the second quarter of 2022 due to a lack of domestic and international demand amidst higher inventory levels. According to market participants, Stainless Steel 304 CR Sheet prices fell roughly 30% in May due to cheaper Asian imports and much higher alloy surcharges, as well as a slowing economy and dwindling demand. The weak demand outlook from domestic mills and lower raw material costs, particularly nickel, exacerbated demand concerns and pushed Stainless Steel 304 CR Sheet prices down. Market participants believe that Germany is oversupplied and that flat CR stainless steel base prices remain under pressure due to weak demand. Faced with such weak fundamentals, several mills embarked on longer-than-usual maintenance turnarounds this summer. While the market is still under pressure due to a lack of direction, several market participants believe it will begin to recover in September. As a result, the Ex Ruhr (Germany) price for Stainless Steel-304 CR Sheet (2 mm) has been set at USD 1510/MT.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
In the US, the Stainless Steel 304 prices appear moderate in the US market, with inventories and demand maintaining healthy levels during the first quarter of 2022. Despite the recent opening of mills, purchases have been sluggish as buyers tend to source as per their requirements, keeping the wait-and-see sentiment in the spot market. As per market participants, stainless steel 304 is stable in the US market, but higher prices are anticipated in the forthcoming weeks. Furthermore, rising prices in the Stainless Steel 304 market are cooling during March as the market adjusts to current realities and a possible slowdown in demand. While mills reportedly ask as much for further orders, several buyers report little buying activity at these levels. Thus, market players opted for a wait-and-watch outlook amid the stagnant demand.
The price of Stainless Steel-304 CR Coil in Asia increased during the first quarter of 2022 due to rising raw material prices, primarily nickel and iron ore. This upward trend is primarily supported by Russia's and Ukraine's ongoing hostility. However, the impact is doubled with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in several Chinese cities. Because of the growing number of Omicron cases in China, authorities have suppressed onloading and offloading activities, increasing port congestion and traffic. Furthermore, rising coking coal and nickel prices have hampered steel production and exacerbated market dynamics for Stainless Steel-304 CR Coil. The price of Stainless Steel-304 CR Coil for Ex Shanghai settled at USD 2925/MT during Q1 of 2022 due to the ripple effect.
In Europe, the Stainless Steel 304 CR Coil prices witnessed an inclining trend owing to robust demand from the downstream sector. The Russia-Ukraine war and its ramifications, particularly on raw materials and logistics in China's significantly rising COVID-19 issues, have a dual impact on supply and demand dynamics. The rising procurement risk, financial constraints, and port bottleneck all increased Stainless Steel 304 CR Coil prices. However, increasing availability uncertainty and rising safety and security concerns are among the significant concerns. As per market participants, rising supply chain delays and input cost inflation due to stretched supply chains put inflationary pressure on raw material prices. As a ripple effect, the soaring raw material prices further provoked Stainless Steel 304 CR Coil prices to surge in the regional market.