European stainless steel producers are under tremendous pressure from both end users and service centers to open their order books for 2022.
Some market participants report that for those who buy on annual contracts, price negotiations for the next year have already begun. They are usually held in October - November.
This is partly due to the fact that buyers want to ensure the supply of materials for 2022. Moreover, some fear that further price increases are likely in the second half of this year.
Likewise, warehouse companies are also looking to secure their monthly tonnage for 2022. Buyers are reported to agree to any price level. Many are reporting that there is no longer a ceiling for price increases.
Current trading conditions are likely to allow European stainless steel producers to maintain high selling prices in the short term. The cost for many has become secondary in comparison with the need for a guaranteed purchase of material.
The last straw was the approval by the European Commission of the expansion of protective quotas for steel imports, which will continue to restrict the possibilities of alternative purchases. This leaves very few options for buyers if they want to secure stainless steel supplies for 2022.