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The TSINGSHAN series 304 stainless steel prices dropped by US$61-123/ton this week and the market has gone from the initial “panic” to the current “expected”, just because the inventory pressure is not great? This Friday, the two major steel mills of TSINGSHAN and Baosteel suddenly prohibited their downstream agents from promoting low-price sales in various forms. Why is this?


The latest inventory statistics this week: the total inventory in the northern Chinese market is 499.99 million tons, an increase of 10,000 tons from last week, of which: the 200 series inventory is 85,600 tons, an increase of 3,400 tons from last week; the 300 series inventory is 344,100 tons, An increase of 3 million tons from last week; 70,200 tons of the 400 series, an increase of 3,700 tons from last week.


The inventory pressure of 200 series stainless steel remains unabated, but major steel mills are not allowed to reduce prices!


Recently, some of the main warehouses of 200 series stainless steel have basically remained full, and many warehouses have even piled up to 3-4 floors, and the overall inventory pressure is still prominent.


On the one hand, the price of 201 stainless steel fell across the board, and on the other, the main steel mills producing 201 stainless steel were losing production. The major steel mills prohibited their agents from lowering prices, and other steel mills took the opportunity to cut prices.


Another note: According to sources in the steel industry, 201 hot-rolled stainless steel has begun to arrive, but some 201 hot-rolled stainless steel is not in the sample inventory, so the actual 200 series stainless steel inventory may increase even more.


300 series inventory is available, but the overall inventory pressure is not great


The inventory of 300 series stainless steel rose slightly this week, among which the rise of 300 series stainless steel was mainly due to TSINGSHAN. Baosteel and other steel mills dominate the five-foot hot-rolling resources. 


In terms of cold-rolling resources, Baosteel has recently received a small number of goods, and the overall arrival volume is still in a controllable atmosphere. At present, the pressure of 304 cold-rolling shipments is not great.


According to the market, in the near future, there may be 7-8 ships of hot-rolled resources in TSINGSHAN that will gradually reach the market, and pressure on hot-rolled inventory may gradually appear in the later period. 


The current futures disk continues to be deeply discounted. The market believes that the spot price will gradually increase. The futures market is getting closer, coupled with the expected weakening of the macroeconomic aspect and the limited support on the demand side, the price of 300 series stainless steel will still face greater pressure to reduce prices in the later period.


400 series inventory is rising steadily

In terms of 400 series stainless steel inventory, there was a slight increase in the current period, mainly due to TISCO and SHAN STEEL and Steel’s resources arriving at the port for storage, and the inventory continued to rise.


As the inventory of 400 series stainless steel continues to rise, the pressure of price correction has also begun to appear recently. In the past two days, traders’ prices have also begun to be a little “uncontrollable.” The operation of low-price transactions has begun to be obvious. In addition, there has been no recent steel mills. Pulling up operations, the market lacks guidance to a certain extent. 


In addition to the recent weakening of the raw material chromite iron ore market support, the 400 series stainless steel market is not optimistic in the short term.


Summary: The overall inventory data of the stainless steel market in northern China is still increasing. The steel mills are still arriving. If only through prohibiting price cuts instead of reducing production or actual supply reduction, then the market that urgently needs funds to absorb inventory will come. Said it doesn’t help. Perhaps 201 stainless steel is a spot, and the steel mill is really losing money, but 304 is a future…


  1. The TSINGSHAN HOLDING GROUPis China’s largest privately owned steel group.
  2. The Baosteel Group is the largest steel group in the world.


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