Asian stainless CRC rises amid strong raw materials market

Asian stainless cold-rolled coil prices rose in the week to June 18, supported by a firm spot market in China, strong prices for raw materials and positive market outlook.

S&P Global Platts assessed 304 grade 2 mm 2B stainless CRC at $2,800/mt CFR East and Southeast Asian ports on June 18, up $10/mt week on week.

The official nickel cash price on the London Metal Exchange settled at $17,287/mt on June 17, down $496/mt on the week.

In China’s domestic market, prices continued to fluctuate but rose modestly in the week-ended June 18 on the back of strong raw material prices, healthy sales and low inventory pressure, market sources said. This was despite some decline in the futures market after a strong rally in the previous week. The spot market prices in southern China rose by about Yuan100/mt ($16/mt) on the week.

Some major Taiwan-based mills had already sold out allocations for July shipment and new offers for August shipment were expected to be above $3,000/mt CFR, according to a regional trader. The supply from a Japan-based mill also declined as it was still delivering previous bookings, market sources said.

Prices are likely to be supported by the relatively tight supply and it seems a few buyers have even accepted the high prices, the trader said.

The most actively-traded July 2021 stainless steel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was at Yuan16,155/mt on June 18, down Yuan 430/mt, or 2.6%, on the week.

— Analyst Yuelin Dai