Soaring and volatile nickel ore costs are pushing up prices for newbuildings with stainless steel and other alloy content forcing some shipbuilders to shy away from quotes on vessels.

Shipbuilding market sources said yards constructing tankers with stainless-steel tanks, such as LNG carriers and LPG carriers, are having to contend with the surge in nickel ore prices — a key material in the manufacture of stainless-steel plate and cryogenic tanks.

The sources said the price of plate has increased by 30% in the past two months and its supply is unstable due to the sharp fluctuations in nickel ore prices, which is making manufacturers hesitant on production.