Stainless Steel prices have been moving up in the UK in recent months. Since the lows seen in February 2016, the gross price including Alloy Surcharge is up by 30%.
This is due to a combination of alloy price increases, mainly Nickel and Chrome; European mill base price increases; and currency depreciation in UK.
Nickel prices have been rising, due to supply coming back into balance and a reduction in low priced ore coming from Indonesia and the Philippines. Stainless demand has been stronger since the end of destocking in Europe. Mill lead times have extended since the summer, leading to the mills seeking the base price increases they desperately need.
The currency impact of the price increase in the UK, is calculated at over 10% of the total price. The currency depreciation has affected the Alloy Surcharge immediately, since alloys are priced in $US, but the full affect has not been seen on the mill Base price yet. The mill Base price is approximately 55% of the total price, so there may be more Stainless Steel price increases to come, if the £ remains at present levels.