stainless steel price is a broad term used to describe metal alloys that have a high chromium content. The chromium reacts with air to form a chromium oxide barrier, which helps protect the metal from further corrosion and increases its life span.
Typically, this material is used in marine and chemical applications and is a popular choice for food processing equipment and shelving. Its excellent corrosion resistance, high strength and weldability make it a good fit for many projects.
The price of stainless steel changes daily, primarily based on supply and demand. A higher grade of stainless steel may cost a little more than a lower one, though this price difference is often negligible when purchasing pre-fabricated pieces of either metal.
In addition, the costs of fabrication and installation are largely linked to wages. For example, domestic wage rates are projected to rise 4% in 2019, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
Another factor that drives the prices of steel is production costs. For instance, a grade like 430 is much more expensive to produce than a similar grade like 304 due to the fact that it starts with carbon-based scrap and requires much more argon for melting.
While stainless steel prices remain elevated in Europe, they have started to fall in the US. In the month of December, European stainless steel hot and cold rolled coil prices dropped from 4,000 EUR/MT (USD 4,521) delivered to 3,900 USD/MT.