Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu said it sees little improvement in the market after it announced its Q3 results.

Its stainless steel deliveries were 238kt, down from 268kt in the second quarter and down from 323kt year-on-year. Its sales were also down to €587M from €617M in the previous quarter and down from €1.2bn y-o-y. It made a loss of €64M, better than the €94M loss in the last quarter.

Outokumpu said that there was minor restocking by distributors due to rising raw material prices in Q3. But it said inventory levels at distributors in Europe are estimated as still being below normal.

Its revenue is expected to improve in Q4 as a result of increased base prices, improved delivery volumes and tight cost management.

CEO Juha Rantanen said: “Stainless steel markets have not seen any major improvement. Underlying demand continues to be weak and the purchasing behaviour of steel distributors is very much driven by short-term developments in nickel price.”