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French stainless steel producer Aperam has increased its April alloy surcharges for its austenitic range of flat stainless steels for Europe by over €600/tonne ($661) on average versus March, Kallanish notes.
The surcharge for grade 304 (1.4301) has gone up from €2,682/t of March to €3,282/t effective 1 April. For grade 316 it has increased from €3,995/t to €4,817/t next month. Grade 309S, a heat-resistant stainless steel used in high-temperature applications, has also seen its value increase from €3,652/t to €4,531/t for April. The surcharge for the most popular ferritic grade, 409 has gone up from €949/t in March to €1,071/t in April, the company reveals.
Offers for nickel cash buyers reached $37,200/t on 24 March, Kallanish notes.
European stainless steel hot and cold rolled coil prices remain firm amid continued uncertainty in the market. Outokumpu has also increased its surcharges for April. The figure for grade 304 (1.4301) is €3,251/t effective 1 April. According to the formula applied by all steelmakers to calculate coil prices, €3,251/t will be added to the current base price of €1,800/t. This would give a new value for CRC of over €5,000/t delivered, a price considered unacceptable by buyers. Sources say there is currently no clear price for stainless CRC or HRC. European CRC sales earlier this month ranged from €4,200/tonne to over €4,400/t delivered depending on the month of delivery. Mills were quoting May lead times at the beginning of March and some were not accepting new orders. Throughout Europe steelmakers are reducing or stopping production (see Kallanish 22 March).
Natalia Capra France