With September winding down and surcharges set to go up again in October, stainless steel buyers continue to face high prices and tight supply. Views are mixed on how the picture will play out for November. Some stainless suppliers are letting inventories dwindle in hopes of a smaller surcharge in November while others are softening prices as a way of attracting business and ridding themselves of high-priced metal in fear of a price decrease.

Prices have been rising dramatically since the beginning of the year because of both base price and surcharge increases. The demand is still very strong and availability is still very tight now and it’s leading some users to find alternatives.

A presenter at the Metals Service Center Institute’s Economic Summit: Forecast 2007 event in Schaumburg, Ill. predicted stainless would decrease next year.

American Metal Market. September 28, 2006.