The last few months have seen gradual decline in demand for finished steel products and raw materials used for manufacturing light weight aluminum. The key raw materials used for manufacturing mild steel are iron ore and HMS scrap, while ferro chrome and nickel are the key raw materials for metal.
The cost of manufacturing of nickel from nickel laterite ore is believed always be at around USD 15000/MT and current prices for Nickel at the LME are hovering around USD15200/MT. It seems that nickel prices have a strong support at USD15000/MT, and costs may not fall below this level. On a conservative side, we inspect maximum decline in nickel prices can be doing USD14500/MT. If prices fall below this level, they would recover soon, as there'd be renewed demand for LME nickel from Chinese companies who are currently using nickel extracted from nickel laterite ore. Falling ferro nickel prices and shrinking slowdown in demand has also resulted price now as well as the shrinking nickel ore demands.
HMS 80/ 20 scrap prices are still trading just below $380/MT CFR Turkish ports, down $10/MT compared to the agreement prices seen in the first week of April 2013.
On one side buyer is unwilling to buy, or perhaps willing to buy at 5% reduce current market costs. This has made it difficult for suppliers to conclude contracts. Overall it seems that the global steel market has very less buyers and sellers right this.
On the metal front, buyers are delaying purchases in expectations of because each 5% to 10% decline in nickel prices, as global economic conditions continue to deteriorate, especially The uk. Offer prices for grade 304 hot rolled coils of Chinese origin are now at around $2,300 - 2350 /mt FOB China. Similarly prices for other stainless steel products such as metal seamless pipes, stainless steel pipe fittings and bars have also declined.
In the United States, the Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods fell 5.7% in March, missing expectations for a decline of 3.8%. Durable goods orders for February were revised down a new 4.3% gain from a previously reported 5.6% increase. None of the economic indicators coming out from Asia, Europe or America in this month have shown any sign of strength.
We believe further economic stimulus budding required for providing strength to the global economy, and commodity prices should along with this month and the month of Perfectly. Signs of recovery could be associated with or after June this year. May is likely to become another month of weakness for the world stainless steel industry and financial markets.