Asian market facing divergent factors
Asian stainless steel prices are expected to rise in the fourth quarter supported by a bullish outlook for nickel pig iron (NPI) prices.
In September, Shandong Xinhai Technology (Xinhai) – China’s largest NPI producer – was ordered to halve production for four months beginning November 15 to alleviate pollution. That could remove around 200,000-250,000 tonnes of NPI from the market.
As a result, NPI prices are expected to increase in the fourth quarter, subsequently pushing stainless steel prices higher, according to market participants.
Reductions in NPI output also could decrease production of Type 300-series stainless steel. Steel mills that use NPI as a raw material – including Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Tisco) and Jiuquan Iron & Steel (Jisco) – will maintain production in the first half of the fourth quarter, but will then have to cut production in the latter half.
But some participants are...