SHANGHAI, Mar. 18 (SMM) -- SMM conducted a survey at #200 stainless steel mills in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces, with months purchasing volumes of 14,500/mt, accounting for around 45% purchases in total purchases from #200 stainless steel mills. Based on the result of SMM survey, most stainless steel mills have began and will begin regular purchases for April's production. Most stainless steel mills told that current orders for #200 stainless steel mills are relatively stable, and their purchase for EMM will be stable. Some producers with ample raw material inventories told that they will only replenish certain EMM inventories.
Meanwhile, operating rates at major EMM producing regions still stay low at around 60%. Operating rates at Xiangxi in Hunan and Baise in Guangxi were the lowest at around 45%. Operating rates at Songtao in Guizhou and Xiushan in Chongqing were relatively high in the 75-80% range. In addition, EMM production costs still hover at high level as prices for manganese ore, electricity, and selenium dioxide are still high.
SMM believes that domestic EMM prices are expected to move slightly higher and may fluctuate around RMB 19,500/mt due to waning supply and growing demand.
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