Stainless Steel Prices Stable In May
“Stainless steel prices remained broadly unchanged in the United States this month, with base prices holding firm and surcharges relatively steady,” the AMM states.
“Buyer sources agreed that prices were largely flat, with mills holding base prices firm and most surcharges inching up only slightly for May, although there was some uncertainty as to where prices could move over the summer months.”
Base prices are holding up and change is not expected in the near term. There is firm demand and lead times are eight to ten weeks.
AMM states, “Market participants had mixed thoughts on whether mills would implement another price increase in the next few months, with the Section 232 tariffs and quotas continuing to generate uncertainty in the market.”
Domestic prices seem to be moving in line with imports. A southern distributor said that mills are “done with price hikes for right now” since US prices are already “quite high” compared with other markets. “They’re competitive with imports.”
A Midwest distributor said that stable demand and steady lead times do not signal a price increase. But, if the Trump administration enforces tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico, a price increase could result.
“Meanwhile, contract negotiations for the second half of the year are ongoing, with many market participants expecting them to be higher than in the first half given the price increases implemented by the mills,” reports the AMM.
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