stainless steel maker Outokumpu Oyj expects to announce the
outcome of its daily alloy surcharge pilot program in Europe in
the next two to three months, a company executive said Sept.
The testing phase is
still continuing, Kari Tuutti, executive vice president of
marketing, communications and investor relations, said at
AMM sister publication Metal Bulletins
12th International Stainless and Special Steel Summit in
"Customers can choose
to fix the price closer to the delivery date if they want,"
Tuutti said. "(This means) less volatility. It should bring
more stabilization to the price and less speculation. We will
announce how we plan to roll this out further in the next two
to three months."
Stainless managing director Tony Lockley told delegates at the
event that the daily surcharge system could make distributors
more cautious about stock levels.
"For distributors, the
daily surcharge system is a nightmare and they will increase
their reduction of stock. There needs to be a lot of thought
about that," Lockley said.
Outokumpu rolled out
plans to test a daily system in May in a bid to reduce price
volatility (amm.com, May 22).
The debate on the need
for a change in the current European stainless pricing system
has been heating up since last September, as nickel price
volatility continues to affect participants in the sector.
also is reviewing its service center strategy, with an outcome
expected by year-end, Tuutti said.
"By the end of the
year we will decide on the right balance between service
centers standing on their own and being profitable, and at the
same time being close enough to our customers," he added.
Outokumpu is in the
process of selling some of its service centers in Italy and
Germany as part of its divestment of Acciai Speciali Terni
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister
publication Steel First.