Stainless base price hikes announced in September took hold last month, for the most part, and that success has led some analysts to believe more base price increases for November also will stick.
However, American Metal Market (AMM) reports that surcharges are expected to decrease for the first time in three months due to lower nickel and iron prices. Domestic kingpins ATI, AK Steel, NAS and Outokumpu Stainless USA all announced diminished surcharges ranging from below (1.0) % for Type 430 (AK) up to (4.97) % declines for Type 316, announced by both ATI and NAS.
Most observers believe stainless steel prices are expected to increase globally through the end of the year, mainly due to higher input costs and steady demand in the Asian, European and North American markets.
Nickel prices are expected to shoot up in the coming years due to burgeoning production of electric vehicles. Nickel compounds are a staple of their lithium-ion batteries, according to the energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.
Global stainless steel melt shop production increased by 5% year-on-year in the first half of 2017, according to the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF).
Global production of molybdenum increased by 13% in the second quarter from the first and was up 18% compared with the same period in 2016, according to the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA). Global use of molybdenum in the second quarter also increased slightly, up 1% over the first quarter and 7% compared with the same period in 2016.
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