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EU stainless steel prices continue to rise due to scarce availability

This passage discusses several key points regarding the European Union’s stainless steel market and its interaction with global dynamics and domestic policies. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Alloy Surcharges and Nickel Prices: The alloy surcharges for stainless steel grades 304 and 304L increased due to stabilizing nickel prices, which are a significant component in stainless steel production.
  2. Demand and Supply Dynamics: There’s a revitalizing demand for stainless steel alongside a tightening supply from EU producers, leading to potential market imbalances.
  3. EU Steel Import Dependency: The EU has been dependent on steel imports for over a decade, with a substantial shortfall in imports in recent years. This dependence poses challenges for domestic manufacturers.
  4. Decline in EU Crude Steel Production: The decline in EU crude steel production has been expected due to aging infrastructure, necessitating renewal or replacement of blast furnaces.
  5. Market Protection Measures and Political Ramifications: The EU Commission’s actions, perceived as favoring domestic steel manufacturers, could have political repercussions, especially concerning upcoming EU parliamentary elections.
  6. Concerns of Steel Consumers: European steel processors and consumers feel disadvantaged by the EU’s policies favoring domestic manufacturers, with potential risks to millions of jobs.
  7. Subsidies and Green Initiatives: There’s criticism regarding EU subsidies to steel manufacturers and their impact on the market, especially in light of environmental initiatives like the EU Green Deal.

Overall, the passage highlights complex dynamics within the EU stainless steel market, including issues of supply, demand, political decisions, and international trade dynamics.

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