Nickel series stainless cold rolled flat steel price increases around Tokyo under surging nickel price. The price is increased by 20,000 yen to 440,000 yen per tonne for 304 base size in a month. The price increased by 140,000 yen in a year. The market price increases when stainless makers try to pass the higher cost price. The price is expected to increase under higher nickel price. The supply is tight despite of full capacity operations by makers. Nickel price is still record level at London Metal Exchange though the price decreased by US$ 0.3 to US$ 13.67 per pound for averaged cash price in September. The price was still US$ 14.88 on October 9, which increased in October. Nickel inventory decreased by 87% to 4,782 tonnes on October 5 from a year earlier. The demand increases worldwide with lower inventory while nickel miners’ consolidations increase the money inflow by speculators. Japanese largest stainless maker of Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel is expected to increase the selling price by 25,000 yen to 500,000 yen per tonne for October for distributors in next week under averaged nickel price in August and September and lower yen rate. A major distributor in Tokyo said the users could accept the higher price even if the price is 440,000 yen per tonne. The distributors’ market price is 420,000-440,000 yen and the price is getting toward to 440,000 yen. The distributor said the users are shifting to chrome series stainless instead of nickel series stainless mainly for construction and appliances applications. However, users also sift to nickel series stainless from more tight supply of titanium. Japanese stainless price is still world cheapest level under worldwide tight supply. Some domestic makers increase the export though the distributors have trouble to secure materials. The tight supply condition is expected to continue supporting the strong market price.
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