There has been a global shift from austenitic to ferritic stainless steel grades with high nickel prices acting as a trigger for this shift, German firm Heinz H Pariser Alloy Metals & Steel owner Heinz Pariser said on Wednesday.
Ferritic stainless steel grades contain less nickel than austenitic grades.
"There is no confidence in the nickel prices. The nickel prices are still overvalued and are fundamentally not justified. I hope they will be coming to a more reasonable level in future," he commented during the Ferro Alloys 2008 conference held in Johannesburg.
Pariser also noted that nickel consumption for the production of stainless steel was depressed and would remain so for the next couple of years unless prices came down to a more reasonable level.
Meanwhile, Pariser said that stainless steel supply remained volatile and that he expected an undersupply of 1,2-million tons this year.