Posted on 27/10/2014 in category Stainless

BIR World Mirror on Stainless Steel & Special Alloys

Dear colleagues

What a difference five months make! In Miami, we saw a relatively positive outlook from industry participants and a relative shortage of scrap supply. As a result of the Indonesian ore export restrictions, the LME nickel price was at its highest for two years. Following the ban, one of the questions asked was where the nickel unit shortfall would come from.
Emerging at the same conference was the news from Qingdao of missing metal that had been pledged against loans. Although the metals in question were copper and alumina, all base metals suffered as a result of this and of a slowdown in China. None fell as far and as quickly as nickel.
No doubt many banks within China are reducing their exposure to the metals sector and credit availability issues within the country are exacerbating the industrial slowdown.
The positive outlook witnessed in Miami has all but disappeared. Supply has eased on the back of apparently weaker demand as the market moves through its rebalancing phase.
Such markets are often the most challenging in which to trade, but the good news is that these phases don’t last forever and better times will return. But the question is: When?  

During the BIR Stainless Steel & Special Alloys Committee session in Paris, members of our board will present their assessments of the Asian markets, which should stimulate some interesting debate. I look forward to seeing you there.

Mark Sellier
OneSteel Recycling Asia
Interim Chairman of the BIR Stainless Steel & Special Alloys Committee

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