Evolution of material prices in 2023, what can we expect?

As Filame does on a regular basis, it questioned its panel of suppliers, mainly of steel and stainless steel, to get their forecasts for the next few months for the evolution of the price of these materials.

If the peak had been reached in April 2022, we witnessed a stabilisation and a fall during the third quarter of 2022 in the prices of steel and stainless steel and in particular of the alloy surcharge. However, from September onwards, there was a reversal of the trend and the end of 2022 confirms this reversal of the trend with a fairly significant rise.

This is due to several factors.

First of all, the global market and particularly Asia is booming.  China, which is the world’s largest steel producer with a market share of around 50%, has changed its strategy in several respects.  After a policy of restricting the real estate market to reduce its debt, which led to a sharp drop in housing sales and thus in steel production for this sector, China announced a series of stimulus measures for this sector.

In addition, China has eased its zero covid measures, which is leading to an improvement in demand in the Chinese market.

These two elements, among others linked to a certain recovery of consumption in this market, lead to an increase in the price of raw materials in this market.

In addition, Europe has decided to introduce a carbon tax for non-European companies, which will probably lead to an increase in steel import prices.  At the same time, there is a further reduction in production capacity in Europe.  Several central European mills have closed down blast furnaces, while producers with electric steel mills are shutting them down and restarting them, following the development of demand very closely.  In addition to maintaining prices by reducing supply, this has led to longer delivery times.

This decrease in supply is confronted with an increased demand for steel from the automotive market, which is expected to grow in 2023, particularly as a result of a reduction in supply problems for components such as conductive sills.  The effect is therefore that of an upward price trend.

In the case of stainless steel, an increase in the price of the alloy surcharge was observed in December and January, which was caused in particular by a sharp increase in the price of nickel.  The reasons for this increase are the same as those explained above for steel.  The trend was rather downward in the second and third quarter of 2022.  The increase in nickel prices is generally reflected in the prices of the alloy surcharge within two months.

This evolution will of course have to be correlated with the evolution of the economic situation in general and in particular with the effects that inflation may have on consumption and therefore investments.

We wish you all an excellent year 2023

Filame would like to thank all its clients and visitors from all over the world who have visited its website and who have placed their trust in it in 2022.

We wish you all an excellent year 2023.

May it bring you all happiness and prosperity and we will continue to be at your side for the development of all your projects.

Filame appointed brand ambassador for Wallonia.be

In the context of the Wallonia Silver Export Award, Filame has also been appointed as ambassador of the Wallonia.be brand

Filame’s international know-how is thus recognised not only for its export performance but also for its technical know-how, which enables it to serve the largest European and world groups in all the sectors in which they are present.

Filame is participating in the Design to Manufacturing trade fair held at Kortrijk Expo on 21 and 22 September 2022

Filame welcomes visitors to its stand at the Design to Manufacturing exhibition.  This exhibition is dedicated to the integration of production processes.

The new value chain of the smart manufacturing company requires a dynamic and digital integration of all relevant processes combined with the use of innovative production and design techniques.

Departments such as design, engineering, prototyping, planning, maintenance, production, supply chain, assembly, logistics, sales and aftersales are becoming one interactive platform of people and technologies.

This integrated and internally controlled approach is one of Filame’s undeniable strengths, enabling it to offer its customers the complete value chain for the production of their parts and to assist them in all stages of design, improvement of drawings in order to minimise production costs, prototyping, etc.

Several steel mills in Europe close their doors

A report from the GMK Center indicates that steel production in Europe has been reduced by 11.7 million tonnes, which is a decrease of 6.7% compared to July of last year (2021).  This decrease is due to the closure of several steel mills in Europe, including several of the Arcelor Mittal Group.  At the beginning of September, some fifteen steelworks were shut down.

The closures are due to the increase in the price of energy, which means that producers are no longer able to cover their production costs and are unable to pass on cost increases to their customers, despite the energy surcharges applied by most players.

These closures are in addition to those already announced, such as the closure of the Aperam stainless steel foundry in Genk.

This reduction in supply will eventually have an effect on the price of steel.  It is therefore not to be expected that prices will fall in the coming months.

Filame receives the Wallonia Silver Export Award 2022 from AWEX (Agence Wallonne à l’Exportation)

At a ceremony held on 8 September in La Hulpe, Filame received the Wallonia Silver Export Award 2022 in the presence of the Minister President of the Walloon Region, Mr Elio Di Rupo.

This award was given because of Filame’s strong international growth in recent years and its strategy of innovation in the production process.

Discover our range of products

Filame participates in the Design to Manufacturing Trade Fair

Filame will be participating in the Design to Manufacturing trade fair to be held at Kortrijk Expo on 21 and 22 September 2022.

The new value chain of the smart manufacturing company requires a dynamic and digital integration of all relevant processes combined with the use of innovative production and design techniques.

Departments such as design, engineering, prototyping, planning, maintenance, production, supply chain, assembly, logistics, sales and aftersales are becoming one interactive platform of people and technologies.

This integrated and internally controlled approach is one of Filame’s undeniable strengths, enabling it to offer its customers the complete value chain for the production of their parts and to assist them in all stages of design, improvement of drawings in order to minimise production costs, prototyping, etc.

Discover our range of products

Alloy extras for stainless steel continue to fall in price (August 2022)

As the Filame Group does every month, we have consulted our panel of suppliers to provide the most accurate estimate possible of the evolution of the price of alloy extras for the stainless steel grades that the Filame Group uses on a regular basis.

In June, after the surge in May, we saw a drop in prices for the first time. The downturn continued slightly in July.

The decline continued in August.

This seems to reflect a decline in economic activity that began to be felt in June and which is due in particular to the various geo-political events. Economic activity in China has continued to decline and so has demand.
This movement does not mean that we will return to the prices that prevailed in 2019. Indeed, demand for nickel in particular remains very strong and is driven by the demand for this metal in the battery industry.

It should be noted that all suppliers still apply an energy surcharge to take into account the increased energy costs. This surcharge, in turn, continues to rise. The Russian gas crisis is likely to continue to exacerbate the pressure on energy prices.

As a result, the price of stainless steel will not fall in the same way as the price of alloy surcharge.

In addition, large users had hedged their bets during the very sharp increases in the first half of the year and have stocks and contracts to deliver at higher prices than they could obtain today in spot purchases.

Filame points out that the price of alloy surcharges is set month by month by the various suppliers according to the grades of stainless steel they offer. There are therefore differences between the various suppliers but the trend is noticeable for all of them.

Furthermore, the price is set on the day the material is delivered. There may therefore be differences between the time of ordering and the time of delivery, especially as delivery times have not decreased.

It should also be noted that the figures below are a general trend among steel manufacturers and that the price among slitters, wire drawers or wholesalers varies according to the quality requested, the nature of the product (sheet, coil, wire), the quantities requested, the thicknesses or diameters of the wire and the packaging.

With over 20% of its turnover from civil engineering machinery, forklift & industrial vehicle, The Filame Group has extensive expertise with global and European leaders in these industries.

For this sector, Filame mainly manufactures a set of laser cut parts or mechanical press (shim, washer) and a set of sheet metal parts and welded assemblies. The Filame Group masters the wide range of the control and exigence systems needed for clients such as Caterpillar.

From the unit to several million pieces, Filame offers a comprehensive solution. Whether you are in a planning phase and need our expertise or already have your final plans and specifications, we are here to help you.

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Alloy surcharge prices continue to fall (July 2022)

As the Filame Group does every month, we have consulted our panel of suppliers to provide the most accurate estimate possible of the evolution of the price of alloy extras for the stainless steel grades that the Filame Group uses regularly.

In June, after the surge in May, we saw a drop in prices for the first time.

In July, we can see that the slight downturn continues.

This seems to reflect a drop in economic activity that began to be felt in June and which is notably due to the various geo-political events.

This movement does not mean that we will return to the prices that prevailed in 2019.  Indeed, the demand for nickel in particular remains very strong and is driven by the demand for this metal in the battery industry.

It should be noted that all suppliers still apply an energy surcharge ranging from €235/tonne to €385/tonne to take into account the increased energy costs. This surcharge, however, is not decreasing.

Filame reminds us that the price of the alloy surcharge is set month by month by the various suppliers according to the qualities of stainless steel they offer.  There are therefore differences between the various suppliers but the trend is noticeable for all of them.

Furthermore, the price is set on the day the material is delivered. There may therefore be differences between the time of ordering and the time of delivery, especially as delivery times have not decreased.

It should also be noted that the figures below are a general trend among steel manufacturers and that the price among slitters, wire drawers or wholesalers varies according to the quality requested, the nature of the product (sheet, coil, wire), the quantities requested, the thickness or diameter of the wire and the packaging.

Filame also draws the attention of its clients to the fact that, if necessary, it will have to adapt its prices in relation to the time of the order, depending on changes in the price of materials and the time of delivery.