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Stainless processors stimulate scrap flow

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

NEW YORK — Processor buying prices for stainless scrap have risen for the second week in a row as processors look to stimulate scrap flow in a lackluster market, with sources saying generally higher nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange are playing only a secondary role.

“Personally, I don’t think it has that much to do with the slightly higher nickel prices. They’re trying to stimulate some flow,” one broker told AMM.

“The LME had a nice run towards the end of last week, but I’m not tying my buying necessarily into the LME right now,” one processor source agreed, but added that he had raised his prices slightly recently in an attempt to attract more scrap.

Prices for 304 clips and solids are now between $1,525 and $1,570 per gross ton, up from $1,455 to $1,525 per ton previously, while 316 clips and solids are between $2,150 and $2,220 per ton compared with the prior range of $2,125 to $2,195 per ton.

In the continued absence of prompt consumer demand, some processors are now said to be buying material for an anticipated restocking in January.

“They’ve all changed their minds fairly dramatically: ‘Well now we need material for January,’ ” one dealer source said.

However, not all sources agreed that the higher prices were warranted in the current market environment.

“(Prices) are way too high for what is being bought. Orders are still very weak,” a second processor source said.

The cash nickel contract on the LME ended the official session at $16,670 per tonne ($7.56 per pound) Tuesday, down slightly from $16,675 per tonne ($7.56 per pound) a day earlier but above last Tuesday’s $16,335 per tonne ($7.41 per pound).

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