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European Stainless Flats Shortage Pushes Prices up Again

Tight European stainless steel hot and cold rolled coil supply is worsening amid slow sheet and coil derivative deliveries. Prices are increasing again on account of costly nickel and alloy surcharges, ferrochrome and other raw materials, market participants tell Kallanish.

All European coil producers are now quoting lead times till May 2022, while only one steelmaker is quoting April but solely for its existing customers. Because of the high cost of energy, European producers are increasing their base prices versus September, and adding daily and monthly alloy surcharges.

European stainless HRC is offered at €3,800-3,900/tonne ($4,426-4,542) delivered on average. Stainless CRC contracts for European material now start at €4,100/t delivered, including alloy surcharges, depending on material quality and volumes.

There are no import offers reported that would ease the tight coil supply. Indonesian producers are supplying Chinese buyers and have very little availability for Europe, while Taiwan and other regions have no extra product to offer as they are dealing with tight supply in their own domestic markets. As prices escalate, European buyers’ main concern remains the ability to procure material.

Stocks of flats and tubes are said to be low throughout Europe. Moreover, Italian re-roller Marcegaglia’s main stainless pickling line at its Gazoldo degli Ippoliti facility caught fire earlier this week and will be idled for some time, the company confirms. While no fatalities were reported, production will be strongly affected and deliveries will be significantly slowed.

Natalia Capra France