July 2022 Nickel & Surcharge Update
July 2022 Update
Thanks for reading the Ram Alloys Monthly Nickel and 316L s/c update, intended to help our valued customers make educated business decisions.
- June 316 s/c: First s/c drop since May 2021
- We expected a drop in Nickel, we just didn't expect that large of a drop, and thought the mills would offset with a rise in energy surcharges. That didn't happen, as the energy surcharge remained flat.
- How much of an impact was the Chinese lockdown, and what will happen when China re-opens?
- Did s/c peak in May? More likely than not. Hard to believe s/c will surpass May with any significance.
- Goldman Sachs believes Nickel's run is over (see article below)
Clearly, things are out of control, and out of your/our control. At this point, it seems prudent to just focus on the fundamentals of your business and simply execute. That's our approach.
LEAD TIMES: Despite a slight ease in demand, and lower order entry, mill lead times are still well into 2023/2024,with capacity limitations at all levels. This could change with a possible looming EU recession and Jamie Dimon's "inflationary Hurricane." (see articles below).
PRICING: June surcharges fell on decreased Nickel prices, but stocks are depleting again, so prices are rising. We are told the mills will issue another base price increase, likely to offset the drop in s/c. One has to wonder if the base price increase is a message to slow order entry, so the mills can catch up on production. Keep an eye on post-Covid lockdown Chinese consumption.
Story to watch in 2022 (update): 2021 Energy and Aerospace demand for stainless steel and nickel alloys, while up from 2020, is nowhere near historical levels. Either sector can substantially disrupt an already discombobulated supply chain with traditional consumption.
Aerospace and energy remain healthy. Increase demand still forecasted for Q3-Q1.
Yearly/Monthly 316L s/c and Ni Charts
Ni Price History
- Chinese Nickel Tycoon Reduces Short Position
- EV Battery Supply Chain Stressed: Lithium + Nickel
- LFP EV Batteries - Free from Nickel - the Next Holy Grail
- Goldman Sachs: The Battery Metal Bull Market is Over
- Top EU CEOs Fear Significant Recession
- Dimon Says Brace of U.S. Economic 'Hurricane' due to Inflation
EU Quota Info
EU Quota System Highlights:
- Quotas by EU country, not mill, and by HTS Code, not grade
- Quarterly volumes based on a first come/first served bases
- Imported volumes > quota assessed a 25% tariff
- Exclusions apply, but adjustments under consideration
- Chaos and confusion are a certainty, clarity sometime late Q1/early Q2
Ram Alloys is a niche service center supplying a complete inventory of stainless steel, nickel products, pump shaft quality bars, and boat shaft quality bars in a full range of standard grades. Value-added services include comprehensive and customized processing options, prompt shipping, same-day order turnaround, and 24/7 availability. We're here to ensure that your procurement needs are met quickly and accurately, minimizing schedule impacts and return material authorizations. Request a quote today!