FOCUS: End in sight for Asian stainless steel price war

Import prices for stainless steel in Asia appear to have stabilized after a six-month slump thanks to an uptick in demand, a recovery in the nickel market and a potential drop in Indonesian supply.

These seem to have put an end to the region's heated price war, sources told Fastmarkets MB on Wednesday January 16. Prices for 304 stainless cold-rolled coil and hot-rolled coil began to decline in early June 2018 amid intense competition among Asian suppliers, before bottoming out in late December at their lowest in 18 months. Fastmarkets MB's weekly import price assessment for 304 stainless 2mm trimmed CRC in East Asia plunged to $1,860-1,930 per tonne cif on December 19 - its lowest since June 28, 2017, when it was $1,840-1,900 per tonne cif. But market gloom started to dissipate at the start of this year, with prices improving and trading activity regaining momentum after the year-end lull. The latest stainless CRC assessment - that for the week ended Wednesday January 16 - was $1,880-1,970 per tonne cif, widening upward by $10 per tonne from a week earlier. Meanwhile, Fastmarkets MB’s import price assessment for...

Published

Fiona Lam

January 18, 2019

07:35 GMT

Singapore