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Unpredictable ride of nickel price drives ferritic stainless production up

24 Jun 2008 09:49 reported by Winnie Quant

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Due to volatility of nickel price in 2007, most stainless steel mills cut austenitic stainless steel output and instead increased ferritic stainless steel production by around 30 percent. Obviously, the issue on fluctuation of nickel price has made most mills unable to maintain their profitability.

In order to solve this serious problem, the stainless steel sector of ArcelorMittal Group announced that the company will develop new stainless grades with extra chromium, void of molybdenum and nickel which is able meet the same corrosion resistance level as 304 series.

Falling nickel price drove stainless steel price down. However, costs of other raw materials such as ferrochrome, molybdenum, and scraps are still increasing, let alone the skyrocketing oil price. The current carbon ferro-manganese’s spot is 1.42 per lb, four times higher than that of October 2007.

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