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European stainless alloy surcharges to fall again in July

Monthly alloy surcharges on nickel-bearing stainless steel flat-rolled products in Europe are set to move lower for the second successive month in July, the first mill announcement indicated this week.

Finland’s Outokumpu, the continent’s largest stainless steel producer, set its alloy adjustment factor for type 304 (4301) flat products at Eur3,143/mt ($3,300/mt) for July, down Eur76/mt from June.

Three-month nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange have moved steadily lower this month, beginning June at above $28,000/mt and heading down to test the $25,000/mt level as of June 22.

Outokumpu’s surcharge for molybdenum-bearing type 316 (4401) flat products was set at Eur4,613/mt for July, down Eur128 from the previous month.

Molybdenum oxide prices have come under pressure in recent weeks, with the Platts daily oxide assessment falling from around $19/lb in mid-May to just above $17/lb a month later — the market’s lowest level in 12 months.

Outokumpu’s surcharge for nickel-free type 430 flat products is down Eur104 for July to Eur1,254/mt.

Following a sharp run-up in high-carbon ferrochrome prices from below $2/lb at the start of the year to $3.00-$3.20/lb by late March, basis Platts weekly European assessments, prices have stabilized and currently hover just below $3.00/lb.

— Andy Blamey