Despite the moderate increases, the market is not nearly as robust as many had hoped it would be, with mill profit margins being affected by downward pricing pressures as alloy prices struggle.
Even though global stainless steel demand remains at a healthy level, it appears that, in the second half of this year, the total will not be as strong as it was in the first half, according to Oliver Spaltman, senior market analyst for Steel & Metals Market Research (SMR).
While demand for global stainless steel flat products was up by 5-6% from January until May, compared with the first five months of last year, he estimated that full-year demand growth in 2017 is likely to be only about 4-5%.
“While still slightly positive, global demand has been more muted than was expected earlier this year,” Jason Kaplan, senior manager for IHS Markit’s pricing and purchasing service, said.
Some of that is a...