Asian stainless CRC edges higher on stronger nickel, Chinese market

Asian stainless cold-rolled coil prices rose in the week to July 9, boosted by improved sentiment amid stronger nickel and rising Chinese physical and futures market.

S&P Global Platts assessed 304 grade 2 mm 2B stainless CRC at $2,860/mt CFR East and Southeast Asian ports on July 9, up $30/mt on the week.

The official nickel cash price on the London Metal Exchange settled at $18,180/mt on July 8, up $98/mt week on week. And nickel prices increased strongly further on July 9.

Market sentiment in Chinese domestic market continued to improve during the week, amid expectations of output cut and strong futures market. Spot market increased by as much as about Yuan 300/mt ($46/mt) on the week.

Mills had also lifted their domestic list prices for future delivery amid the relatively bullish sentiment, said a Chinese trader.

Taiwanese mills were likely to raise their offers for August shipment Offering level given the upward market trend, said a regional trader. New offers would be higher than the previous level at $2,850-$2,900/mt CFR, as overall demand in the seaborne market remained healthy, he said. Some Japanese and European mills had stopped quoting, as they could not deliver cargoes in time due to the tight supply, he added.

The most actively-traded August 2021 stainless steel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was at Yuan17,360/mt on July 9, up Yuan 1,030/mt, or 6.3% on the week.

— Dai Yuelin