Stainless buyers hold off as nickel price falls

Jun 11, 2012 | 03:44 PM | Thorsten Schier

Tags  stainless, nickel, July surcharge, Commerce Department, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Domestic stainless steel service centers are continuing to hold off from purchasing material as nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange remain under pressure.

"We’re buying only what we need right now. I’m hoping this will be the bottom," one East Coast service center manager said.

A mill source confirmed most buyers were still sitting on the sidelines as input costs fall. "It’s very soft. Service centers still have a good supply, so they’re going to wait until July (to buy)," he said.

Cash nickel prices have averaged $7.54 per pound in officials on the LME so far during the surcharge calculation period for July, down 4.3 percent from the final average for June. Ferrochrome, scrap and molybdenum prices have also weakened recently, suggesting there could be another fall in surcharges, which have been tumbling since March. ....

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