Stainless Steel MMI: Stainless Steel Prices Hold – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless Steel, Rare Earths, Metals Prices Forecast


The Stainless steel HMI indicates that prices are holding.

This, while US cold rolled stainless steel imports have averaged over 40,000 MT per month for several consecutive months. Meanwhile, U.S. flat-rolled stainless steel producers have been operating at full capacity for over a year now. Yet they continue to favor products that they simply do not want to make.

For NAS and Outokumpu Calvert, this category basically includes anything that is not basic caliber 304, 304L, 316L 2B (or 2D) or standard 48 and 60 wide tuners. On the other hand, AK focuses on the ferritic side for automotive and is very selective on alloys containing nickel.

The metal market is changing rapidly. You can go faster with MetalMiner’s weekly newsletter. Register here and start receiving valuable industry insights right away.

Problems are brewing among suppliers

There are few options to supply the volumes needed to meet the continued demand. The additional steel must be either from Allegheny & Tsingshan Stainless JV’s DRAP (Direct Roll Anneal and Pickle Line) or imports. However, it cannot come from both.

Market manipulation by Chinese steel producers has only increased in recent years.

steel workers in china

With such high CRS import levels, the US market simply doesn’t need the tons coming from A&T Stainless’ Midland facility. Indeed, in March, all of A&T’s December/January 232 exemption requests for the Indonesian hot band were denied.

The company claimed that it needed a “clean” Indonesian strip of nickel pig iron free of residual elements. However, the Midland plant previously had no problem using scrap from Allegheny tapes as well as other domestic and overseas suppliers.

Concerns over Chinese stainless steel supply

NAS, Outokumpu and Cleveland-Cliffs vehemently opposed granting A&T Stainless Section 232 exemptions. One of the main concerns was ATI’s JV partner, Tsingshan, a steel conglomerate backed by the Chinese military. Specifically, there were issues with nickel casting instead of scrap. On top of that, Tsingshan’s speculative nickel actions almost brought down the LME.

As stated earlier, no American or European factory would have been able to do what Tsingshan did. May 3rdCris Fuentes, CEO of North American Stainless, issued the following statement to MetalMiner regarding Tsingshan’s actions:

“China’s continued anti-competitive practices and blatant market manipulation at the London Metal Exchange threaten to devastate the U.S. steel industry and its workers, weaken our national security, and slow progress in the fight against change. climatic. As countries around the world scramble to limit dirty Chinese steel, Beijing has only become more manipulative. China’s military-backed steel conglomerate Tsingshan has built sprawling new industrial complexes in Indonesia that can produce 27 times more steel than that country uses in an entire year. These blatant (sic) cross-border subsidies lead to costly mole game as US regulators struggle to keep pace. Policymakers in Washington must flex the American muscle with new, modernized protections for steel to counter growing threats from abroad.

Outokumpu declined to comment.

A&T Stainless Reviews

In a request for comment, Danielle Carlini, General Manager, A&T Stainless, said via email:

“We are disappointed that the US Department of Commerce has denied A&T Stainless’s Section 232 tariff exclusion requests. We believe we meet the exclusion criteria and were eager to meet market needs by bringing employees back to work by restarting idle assets. The Midland DRAP line which was inactive in July 2020 will remain inactive for the time being. I cannot comment for Tsingshan.

Key points:

  • Allegheny and Tsingshan Stainless did not receive 232 exclusions although others did
  • Brokers, master distributors, and even a large service center (which always had a mix of domestic and imported sources) received exclusions.
  • The stainless steel MMI indicates that prices remain high.

Stay on top of changes in the metals market with MetalMiner’s monthly MMI report. Register here to start receiving it for FREE. And if you’re looking for a real competitive edge in the metals industry, try a demo/tour of our revolutionary insights platform here.


Comments are closed.