Taiwan’s leading stainless steel producer Walsin Lihwa raises SS plate prices by NT$ 5,000-5,500/mt ($170-187/mt) for September. This is the company’s biggest single month price hike in 2020. Higher nickel prices are driving stainless steel prices up globally.
Walsin Lihwa hiked prices of SS plates for the domestic market, while prices of copper-containing products were raised by NT$500/mt on Thursday. The company had to revise prices in line with the increase nickel prices in the global market. Nickel is a key raw material for SS production and contributes major to the cost of production. The three-month LME nickel contract is trading above $15,000/mt which is $1,000/mt higher than in late-July.
The company’s monthly consolidated sales in the July decreased by 10.9pc to NT$8.9bn from prior July.
Following the suit, Taiwanese steel mill Yusco increased SS plate prices for both domestic and foreign markets on Friday. For the domestic market, the price of 300 series HRC and CRC coils will be raised by NT$5,000/mt, while the price of 400 series HRC and CRC will be hiked by NT$1,000/mt in September. Prices of 316 SS will be flat.
For exports, depending on destination, price of 300 series will be hiked by $180-200/mt, while the price 400 series will be increased by $30-40/mt, while 316 price remain flat. With this hike, Yusco has increased 300 series prices for the fifth consecutive month.
Stainless steel prices soared amid a disruption of nickle ore supplies from the Philippines, which is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Nickel pig iron production in China has declined due to lack of ore.
In the mainland, China’s dominant SS producer Tsingshan raised prices by CNY1,500/mt ($217.39/mt) this week. The is strong support for higher stainless prices as rainy season will further reduce mining in Philippines and ferronickel production in Indonesia has also slowed tightening raw material supplies for Chinese SS producers.