seamless stainless steel and nickel market

    TUBACEX hikes seamless stainless steel pipes & tubes price. TUBACEX is the world's second largest seamless stainless steel tube manufacturer, with industrial facilities in Spain, Austria and USA and sales offices all over the world. In 2011, the Group had sales amounting EUR 486.6 million. Their CEO announces a price increase of 3% in seamless stainless steel pipes & tubes (including hollow bars) and of 5% for instrumentation tubing as a consequence of the current market conditions.The price increase will be effective for all new orders placed from April 1st 2012 onwards.
    UK based MEPS said that the global stainless steel pipe market is exhibiting the positive signs that are customary at this time of year. Demand on the mills is strong, boosted by inventory replenishment and buyers purchasing forward in anticipation of rising transaction prices. Producers are able to lift basis values as their order books are full for the next couple of months. The alloy adjustment element of prices in most countries will climb, at least until March 2012, as a result of LME nickel figures, which were on an upward trend until February 8th 2012. Nickel surplus may constrain stainless steel prices - MEPS
   The prospects for future nickel values are not very positive. New mining projects in Australia, Brazil, New Caledonia and Madagascar could add more than 100,000 tonnes to global nickel production in 2012. This will contribute to a surplus of supply over demand that could exceed 40,000 tonnes this year. Production may continue to outstrip consumption until 2014.
    nickel pig iron remains a constraint on the value of the pure metal to stainless steel producers. The low grade, Chinese-refined material can be used by the local steelmakers as a substitute for primary nickel or scrap. The cost of making NPI varies between sources but operations are viable for most producers when LME figures rise above USD 20,000 per tonne. This tends to put a glass ceiling on the nickel price unless the supply demand balance changes quickly or external factors come into play. Conversely, NPI suppliers drop out of the market as values fall below their production costs, contributing to an effective floor to the LME price of between USD 17,000 and USD 19,000 per tonne.

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