Stainless reflects glimmer of hope for New Year pricing uptick

Dec 09, 2005 | 06:31 AM | Michael Marley

Stainless steel scrap prices have shown little luster in the past three months, but they might be getting ready to welcome a brighter New Year.

Prices for the bellwether 18-8 solids and bundles inched downward in December to settle into a range of $1,175 to $1,200 a long ton on a delivered-to-mill basis in the Pittsburgh market. At the same time, however, prices at several of the major broker/processor yards were headed in the opposite direction, rising to $1,150 a ton or higher for some of their large suppliers.

Traders in the U.S. market said the spike in primary nickel on the London Metal Exchange might have spurred some of those upward moves by processors and brokers. Cash nickel closed the LME's fourth ring at $6.40 a pound Thursday, up from $5.77 a week earlier.

Several major traders and processors are buying scrap now for delivery to mills in January and, thus, expect to see higher prices then if the LME nickel price continues to climb.....

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