Stainless steel plate prices fluctuate depending on a number of factors. One of the major factors that determines the price is the availability of raw materials. If the raw materials are scarce, the production of steel will slow down. In the United States, the stainless steel business has faced difficult times in the last twelve months.
Stainless steel is an ideal material for corrosion resistance. It is commonly used for cookware, cutlery, medical equipment, chemical plants, and many more applications. These grades are able to resist corrosion from many sources, including water and oxidizing acids. Some organic acids also have good corrosion resistance.
The demand for stainless steel has been robust over the past few years, and despite some supply disruptions, prices have steadily increased. Prices reached an eleven-year high in March 2022, when a surcharge of 1.3 USD per pound of stainless steel was passed on to consumers.
During the summer of 2018, stainless steel prices began to fall. While the global stainless-steel market was weak in the first quarter, China's domestic market continued to experience a constant bounce. This weighed on the outlook for industrial activity in the country.
In late February, stainless-steel prices were near 17,973 RMB/MT, down from the previous month's high. The market had become oversupplied in the previous year, but a sustained decrease in inventory levels supported the spot market.
Despite these trends, the stainless-steel plate market has maintained a glut since it overshot demand in the previous year. Nevertheless, the spot market continued to support prices at the end of the third quarter.