SHANGHAI, Mar. 3 (SMM) -- Today, mainstream offers of EMM were in the RMB 15,100-15,300/mt range. Producers still kept offers firm, but trading volumes still depended on demand from downstream consumers.
According to SMM sources, current prices of major raw materials at EMM producers like ore powder, sulfuric acid and selenium dioxide climbed slightly. Ore powder: tight supply of ore powder didn't change, and ore powder prices still hovered at high levels; sulfuric acid: as sulphur prices kept on rising, and downstream sulfuric acid industry was under great high cost pressure. In addition, as demand from domestic chemical and fertilizer industries gradually increase, demand of sulfuric acid will also warm up. In this context, sulfuric acid prices may continue to climb in the future; selenium dioxide: selenium dioxide prices will still rise slightly due to tight supply in overseas market. In general, costs at EMM producers remained high, and producers still kept offers firm.
According to SMM sources, transactions of EMM in Ningbo, Dainan, and Wuxi where stainless steel mills are concentrated were not brisk, and most traders told that buying from downstream consumers was not brisk. According to a trader from Ningbo, stainless steel mills had built stocks that can be used for around a week before the Chinese New Year holiday, and had no plan to replenish stocks in a large amount due to sluggish market conditions at present.
SMM believes that EMM prices were temporarily on upward track due to strong support of costs and demand from downstream consumers. However, whether prices can continue to climb stably or not shall depend on inventory levels and operating rates at stainless steel mills. In addition, close attention should be paid to whether traders that hold goods on hand before the Chinese New Year holiday will constantly move goods or not when EMM prices are on upward track.
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