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Stainless scrap prices rise in lackluster market

Keywords: Tags  stainless scrap, scrap prices, 304 clips and solids, 316 clips and solids, nickel prices, London Metal Exchange, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Stainless steel scrap broker buying prices have bumped up in line with nickel prices, even though volumes remain tepid as some sellers hold out for higher numbers and most brokers aren’t aggressively looking for material.

"The sellers are waiting and the buyers are dragging their feet," one dealer source said.

Prices for 304 clips and solids are now in a range of $1,615 to $1,635 per gross ton, up an average of 4 percent from $1,540 to $1,585 previously, while 316 clips and solids have inched up an average of 1.6 percent to between $2,260 and $2,310 per ton from $2,240 to $2,260.

There were isolated incidents of higher numbers paid by brokers looking to secure prompt material, with unconfirmed deals for truckload quantities of 304 clips and solids reported as high as $1,680 per ton and 316 clips and solids at $2,375 per ton.

"Prices are up in specific places. The brokers that are not in good shape (in terms of inventory) are definitely being more aggressive," a second dealer said.

The isolated higher prices also come as some sellers hold on to material longer than usual, forcing brokers seeking material to pay higher prices. "I’m waiting to see if it (the nickel price rise) lasts," a third dealer said of his strategy to hold material.

The cash nickel contract on the London Metal Exchange ended Tuesday’s official session at $7.35 per pound, down 1.3 percent from $7.45 at the end of last week but 6.7 percent above $6.89 per pound in mid-August.

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