SHANGHAI, Sep 19 (SMM) - Last week, #304 stainless steel prices surged before dropping. At the beginning of the week, the market trading was active after the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, and steel mills raised their prices sharply, hence the spot prices of stainless steel rose more than expected. Last Thursday, the spot prices dropped from highs amid the falling futures prices. According to SMM research, on the demand side, the transmission of demand to the terminals improved somewhat, and downstream companies’ willingness to restock slightly grew. In terms of supply, compared with the increase in orders, the arrival of goods in the market last week was slightly slower. Besides, there was still a certain amount of invisible inventory, leading to less goods available in the market. Overall, there was a short-term mismatch between supply and demand last week, and the social inventory continued to decrease. With goods gradually arriving at the market, the supply and demand will gradually balance this week. Stainless steel prices were firmly supported by the costs. NPI prices rose day by day as the NPI plants were active in shipments and the ore prices stood firm. However, with the increase in the supply, the NPI prices may fall in the short term. Prices of ferrochrome stabilised after the rise, and market confidence was restored, hence the ferrochrome plants held the prices firm. The short-term ferrochrome prices will remain rangebound with some upward potential. SMM believes that the stainless steel prices will fluctuate with occasional drops this week.