A few days ago, the Korea Iron and Steel Association stated that in February, South Korea's domestic stainless steel cold-rolled sheet stocks reached 97,400 tons, a decrease of 3.5% from the previous month and a year-on-year increase of 25.1%.
Under normal circumstances, the beginning of spring production activities will lead to a decline in stainless steel stocks, but South Korea's domestic stainless steel sales continue to maintain a state of tepid. Stainless steel production in South Korea's spring market is expected to be 90,000 tons to 100,000 tons. From this perspective, domestic stainless steel consumption growth has basically stagnated.
According to the analysis of the Korea Iron and Steel Association, the downturn in the Korean stainless steel market is not only due to the slowdown in the Chinese market, but also related to the weakness of nickel prices at a level of US$13,000/tonne.