Market price of nickel series cold stainless steel sheet maintains flat with potential increase around Tokyo. The selling price among dealers is currently around 280,000-290,000 yen per tonne for base sized SUS304 with 2 millimeters of thickness. Supply and demand balance is rapidly tightening in the market. Overseas market price is surging and domestic stainless makers are raising the sales price to reflect high material costs. However, Tokyo market scarcely responds to these positive factors. Dealers’ shipment is not active.Offshore market price is strongly increasing. Price gap between domestic and overseas markets rapidly narrowed. Major dealers around Tokyo are trying to raise the reselling price by 20,000 yen per tonne until September. Coil centers’ operation rate recently recovered to 60% from the bottom 40%. A dealer source explained the shipment is increasing for automotive parts and foods. Stainless steel makers will raise the selling price for September contracts to reflect upsurge of nickel market price. Calculated on the present nickel price level, some makers may announce the price hike by 20,000-25,000 yen per tonne. Dealers’ inventory of nickel series cold stainless products totaled 38,559 tonnes and the sales volume 26,891 tonnes in July, according to Japan Stainless Steel Coil Center Association (JSCA). The inventory to shipment was historically low at 1.43 months. However, many dealers gave negative comments that the demand hasn’t recovered adequately due to stagnancy in construction market.See an attached graph.
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