FOCUS: Steady Chinese demand, nickel price gains supporting Asian stainless steel market

Stainless steel prices in Asia are set to remain supported in the near term amid improved domestic demand in China and a surge in nickel prices following news of Indonesia’s plan to ban the export of ores, including that of nickel, by 2022.

“My customers have stepped up their purchases of stainless steel, having limited their procurement rates earlier this year,” a Wuxi-based trader who sells to the domestic market in China said. A strengthening of demand from the white goods segment is apparent. Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the country produced 34.61 million units of refrigerators in the first five months of 2019, a year-on-year increase of 3.7%. China’s output of air conditioners also increased by 11% in the same period to 97.46 million units, while production of washing machines rose 6.9% to 30.74 million units. Fastmarkets’ price assessment for stainless steel cold-rolled coil 2mm grade 304 domestic,...

Published

Jessica Zong

Lee Ken Kiat

July 15, 2019

13:14 GMT

Shanghai, Singapore