Foodservice Equipment Reports

More Upward Price Pressure On Stainless, Other Metals

Steel producers raised base prices for most stainless products 6% in March and the nickel surcharges for 304 grades rose nearly nine cents during the month, according to a report from O’Neal Steel. The company’s Market Informer newsletter was published in the March issue of Prime Times, the monthly e-newsletter from Prime Advantage, a buying group which includes many leading foodservice equipment and supplies manufacturers.

According to MEPS Int’l., 304 stainless prices averaged $4,408 a ton in North America in March, up 4.5% from February. The MEPS average price has risen more than $1,000 a ton since March 2010, a 29.5% increase.

Prices for other steels have also risen sharply so far this year. O'Neal reported simply “Mill pricing soared in the first quarter,” with mills increasing prices for flat-rolled carbon steel by $160 a ton from the end of December to mid-February. Prices in March neared $1,000 a ton.

There is also upward pressure on nearly all other metals used in foodservice equipment and supplies, including aluminum, copper and zinc.

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