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European stainless steel surcharges hit four-month lows in May

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European stainless steel surcharges hit four-month lows in May

European stainless steel surcharges hit four-month lows in May

Release time:2017-04-26 Number of views:161

Monthly alloy surcharges on austenitic grades of stainless steel  flat-rolled products in Europe for May are set to fall to their lowest  levels since January as both nickel and ferrochrome prices have  weakened, first mill announcements indicated.

Surcharge levels had resumed their upward trend in April, hitting fresh multi-year highs.

Finland's Outokumpu, the Continent's largest producer, set its alloy  adjustment factor for type 304 (4301) flat products at Eur1,350/mt  ($1,466/mt) for May, down Eur105 from April's five-year high.

Dollar-denominated nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange moved  briefly back above $10,000/mt in early April but have since come under  renewed selling pressure, hitting their lowest level since June 2016  last week at just above $9,300/mt.

The LME nickel cash settlement price has averaged $9,776/mt for April to date, down 4.6% from $10,230/mt for March.

Outokumpu's surcharge for molybdenum-bearing type 316 (4401) flat  products was set at Eur1,936/mt for May, down Eur85 from April.

Spot molybdenum oxide prices moved above the $9/lb level in early  April, basis Platts' assessments, for the first time since January 2015,  but the market has since eased back to trade below $8.80/lb.

Meanwhile, Outokumpu's surcharge for nickel-free type 430 flat products is down Eur39 to Eur769/mt for May.

The European benchmark ferrochrome price negotiated between  producers and steel mills was settled at 156 cents/lb for second-quarter  2017, down 11 cents, or 6.7%, from the previous quarter but up 90% from  82 cents lb in Q2 2016. Outokumpu's type 430 surcharge was Eur418/mt in  May last year.