Foodservice Equipment Reports

Run-Up In Metals Prices Eases A Bit In May

After soaring more than 30% since last September, prices for stainless and carbon steels, as well as for some key nonferrous metals, fell back a bit in May. The commodity price index for metals maintained by The Economist was off 8.1% for the past month ended May 24. Of course, the metals index is still 28.6% higher than a year ago.

Average 304 stainless prices in North America fell to $4,411 a ton in May from $4,653 in April, according to MEPS Int’l Ltd. The average price for stainless was $3,999 in May 2010 and $3,639 a ton in September ’10. North American carbon steel composite prices fell to an average of $979 in May from $1,015 in April.

Aluminum, copper and zinc prices, all of which have risen in the past couple of months, also eased in the past few weeks. Nickel prices have fallen from more than $13/lb. in early March to about $10.40/ lb. last week.

But in spite of the respite, a number of manufacturers of equipment and supplies have increased prices or are planning to do so, given the increases during the past year. For some, it will be the second increase this year.

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