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Stainless scrap rises with nickel tags, demand

Keywords: Tags  stainless scrap, stainless, 304 clips and solids, 316 clips and solids, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Nickel-bearing stainless scrap tags have risen due to higher nickel prices and slightly more buying interest from processors.

Currently, 304 clips and solids are selling for $1,455 to $1,525 per gross ton, up from $1,435 to $1,500 per ton previously; and 316 clips and solids are between $2,125 and $2,195 per ton, up from the prior range of $2,105 to $2,175 per ton.

Although buying from stainless mills is still said to be limited, some processors are taking the long view and stocking up on inventory for January, when demand is expected to improve.

"Markets are higher because the London Metal Exchange is higher. There’s no demand (from the mills) in December," according to one dealer source. "Basically, it’s all for January delivery. People are thinking that January will be better."

However, while there was some limited buying, market activity is expected to remain relatively muted for the balance of the year.

"I think we’re all looking to run the clock out on 2012," one processor source told AMM.

Some dealers, especially smaller ones, said that they were holding on to scrap in the hope of better prices in January.

"I wouldn’t even sell at (the high end of AMM’s range for 304 clips and solids) unless I had to," a second dealer said.

The cash nickel contract closed the LME’s official session at $16,335 per tonne Tuesday, up 1.7 percent from $16,060 per tonne the previous day.

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