- The ongoing energy crisis is shutting down stainless steel plants across Europe.
- About 3 million tonnes of European stainless steel capacity are at risk.
- This kind of “commodity” standoff is less than ideal.
Stainless steel prices continue to struggle as we approach the final quarter of the year. Meanwhile, nickel prices are slightly above their 2021 average, ending August at $21,320. Both indices seem to indicate that the market is overly cautious, with buyers and sellers waiting to see what the other does.
This kind of “commodity” standoff is less than ideal. MetalMiner advises buyers of flat-rolled stainless to hope for lower transaction prices heading into the fall. After all, alloy surcharges are low and competition between service centers is fiercer. In fact, many flat rolling mills in the United States have no customers assigned to them as imports impact their overall supply.
Yet the battle between supply and demand is never-ending. And in a tight market full of people trying to maximize the dollar, anything can happen.
Stainless Steel Mills Closed Across Europe
What if the stainless steel market suddenly lost millions of tons of production? There were more and more detailed reports that they had to scale back or stop production altogether.
Of course, Europe is facing a devastating energy crisis. While many economists remain focused on the coming winter, Putin’s retaliatory gas cutoff has already done a lot of damage. are at risk. With energy costs skyrocketing, many plants can’t afford to “keep the lights on,” so to speak.
In early August, the Apelam plant in Belgium closed its Genk plant. Shortly thereafter, we reduced production at the Châtelet factory. Most recently, Spanish company Acrinox announced that it would halt production and put about 85% of its workforce on reduced hours. Clearly, all attention is now on other major European producers, many of whom have just as much incentive to cut and run.
by AG Metal Minor
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