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European Nickel-Bearing Stainless Surcharges Set to be Lower for November

Monthly alloy surcharges on nickel-bearing stainless steel flat-rolled products in Europe are set to fall for the first time in six months in November, the first mill announcement indicated Oct. 21.

Finland’s Outokumpu, the continent’s largest stainless steel producer, set its alloy adjustment factor for type 303 (4301) flat products at €2,187/mt ($2,545/mt) for November, down €6/mt from October — the first month-on-month fall since May.

Three-months nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange hit seven-year highs above $20,000/mt on Sept. 10 before dropping sharply to three-month lows below $18,000/mt by the end of the month. Prices have subsequently recovered in October, breaching $21,000/mt this week.

Outokumpu’s surcharge for molybdenum-bearing type 316 (4401) flat products was set at €3,383/mt for November, down €43 from the previous month.

Molybdenum oxide prices surged above $20/lb to their highest levels in almost 13 years in early September on the back of tight supply and healthy demand. Prices subsequently eased back to hit two-month lows in early October; as of Oct. 21 the Platts daily oxide assessment stood at $19.10-$19.70/lb.

Outokumpu’s surcharge for nickel-free type 430 flat products is up €15 for November to €980/mt.

Ferrochrome prices have strengthened in recent months, with the European benchmark ferrochrome price settling at 180 cents/lb for the fourth quarter of 2021, up 15% from the third-quarter rollover level of 156 cents/lb.

— Andy Blamey