Prices for UK 18/8 stainless steel scrap solids prices widened on Friday May 11, as merchants in need of material raised bid prices to compete with their European counterparts.
Inter-merchant prices widened to £1,130-1,180 ($1,824-1,904) per tonne delivered on Friday, from £1,130-1,160 a week earlier
European import prices were €1,470-1,500 ($1,903-1,942) per tonne cif main European port on May 11, compared to €1,460-1,490 a week prior.
The bigger merchants have had to up their buying price as smaller merchants are buying-in cheap material and then selling abroad and making a margin, a merchant said.
“There is not a lot of material around and we have had to pay £1,150 per tonne,” a big merchant told Metal Bulletin. “There is severe competition in Rotterdam, so they have been paying higher prices,” he added.
“We can’t be out of the market for such a long period of time, so we have had to up our price to £1,180,” a second big merchant said. “Some [smaller] merchants are quite happy as Dutch and German [merchants] are paying higher prices.”
“We’re competing with these [smaller] guys,” the second merchant added.
A third merchant, who admitted their requirements were not as big as some of the bigger merchants, said they were still able to buy in tonnages at lower prices.
“We’ve certainly not seen any drop in the tonnages coming in,” he said. “We’re not trying to totally blanket the market [with bids] though.”
A fourth, smaller merchant had received many bids despite LME nickel costs falling.
“I’ve been quoted today anything from £1,150, £1,170 and £1,180,” the merchant said.
LME three-month nickel prices dropped to $17,067/17,086 per tonne on Friday at 11:37 GMT, down from $17,500/17,518 a week earlier.