Short-term expectations are that stainless steel costs will remain stable and trending slightly up over 1Q18. Key market influences include:

  • Stainless steel and nickel typically follow the performance of oil. Stable oil prices and expected strong first quarter expectations for oil are strong during its peak season;
  • Steady ore supply combined with less aggressive demand internationally;
  • Recent spikes over the last month for nickel, plus-20%, and stainless steel scrap, plus 15% percent, should stabilize as costs leak into market pricing; and
  • Anticipated and slight increases for nickel are expected to continue through the first quarter.


Long-term influences that may impact stainless steel finished goods include:

  • Pending dumping suit regarding stainless steel flanges due to be determined in April 2018;
  • Determined dumping suit fallout surrounding welded pipe;
  • Potential for future suits;
  • Effects of anti-pollution efforts on global manufacturing; and
  • Use of raw materials for emerging technologies.


The American Supply Association (ASA) and its Industrial Piping Division (IPD) is the national organization serving wholesaler-distributors and their suppliers in the industrial and mechanical pipe-valve-fitting industry.  As a powerful alliance of channel partners, we provide a forum for your upstream trading partners to exchange critical information and address key issues.

In particular, ASA’s IPD members constantly check the pulse of the materials and commodities they proudly supply to you.  ASA’s IPD members are knowledgeable industry leaders, and those who volunteer their service on the IPD Executive Council compile and prepare the IPD Commodity Reports.  The Reports contain some of the most current and qualified market data and information available from the industry’s leading manufacturers and distributors about emerging trends and other price-influencing actions and events.

This information is an example of how ASA’s IPD manufacturer and distributor members are constantly looking ahead to ensure you have information and resources you need to be successful.  Learn more at