21 February 2023 – Stainless steel imports to the United States increased by more than 38% in January. US stainless steel mills significantly increase 316/316L alloy surcharges for March 2023. And first Chinese provinces ration energy again, again particularly affecting aluminium industry.
US stainless steel imports pick up significantly in January
Imports of flat-rolled stainless steel into the United States increased in January 2023. Compared to the previous month, they increased by more than 38%. Market sources say there could be shortages of light gauges and ferritic stainless steels in particular in Q2 2023.
European and US stainless steel mills are often not interested in a large production of grades from the 400 series, which is why companies here often have to resort to imports from Asia to cover their needs.
US stainless steel alloy surcharges for 316/316L increase significantly
The first US stainless steel producers have published their alloy surcharges for March 2023. This already shows the effects of the massive increase in molybdenum prices for 316 and 316L stainless steel grades. Here, prices in the United States are up by almost 5%.
Aluminium output reduced, Chinese provinces ration energy
China has not yet been able to solve its energy supply challenges. The first government-imposed energy rationing measures are now being reported from Yunnan Province, hitting the energy-intensive aluminium industry there in particular. These are expected to last until May 2023 and affect production capacities of up to 3.7 million tonnes.
Short supply, rising aluminium prices
In the past few years, there have already been repeated production losses in China due to energy rationing – especially for aluminium and steel. Analysts expect that these rationing measures will lead to a shortage of supply and thus to rising aluminium prices.
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