This year has witnessed a remarkable increase for all stainless steel-related raw materials. In addition, there has been a sharp rise in energy, electrode and other production-related costs. As a direct effect, sales prices for all finished stainless steel products have followed the same upward course. Currently, final consumption is sending initial but clear signals that the markets are no longer able to digest all the necessary price increases, and so we might see a correction in demand.
Furthermore, delays and interruptions within the complex supply chains of many industries are further reducing demand for some stainless products. In Europe, car manufacturers have been forced to close some of their production sites once again because of an absence of components; consequently, they will order less steel and stainless steel.
A certain price correction is needed in order to keep a generally good demand at a healthy level.
Steel scrap prices have halted their downward trend and have shown signs of a slight recovery while stainless scrap demand will experience its seasonal slowdown towards the end of the year. Any future developments will depend on price attractiveness and careful attention must be paid to the effects of inflation on end-consumer spending.