EU stainless distributors to maintain stock levels as lead times lengthen, Damstahl says

Stainless steel distributors in Europe “are trying to keep their stocks high enough to adapt to the lengthening lead times of up to three months from mills”, Danish distributor Damstahl said in its monthly stainless steel briefing for February.

“Inventory levels are not too high but reasonable,” Damstahl said, noting that recent volatility in the nickel price has created uncertainty.
Stainless steel distributors told Metal Bulletin on January 27 that they were remaining cautious and intended to reduce their inventory levels should the nickel price continue to drop.
At the time, one distributor also voiced scepticism about whether lead times were lengthening, noting that delivery times at Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu have remained at March for roughly a month.
However, the London Metal Exchange three-month official nickel bid/offer spread jumped sharply by $845-850 per tonne week-on-week to $10,380/10,385 per tonne on February 6, after the Philippines’ Department of Environmental & Natural Resources (DENR) ordered several nickel mining operations to be shut down.

The nickel price had previously fallen on news that the Indonesian government had relaxed its...

Published

Viral Shah

February 07, 2017

15:14 GMT

London