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Stainless scrap pricing follows nickel higher

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

NEW YORK — Stainless scrap prices have risen on the back of higher nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange.

Processors are now paying between $1,635 and $1,680 per gross ton for 304 clips and solids, up from $1,525 to $1,570 previously; and $2,250 to $2,320 per ton for 316 clips and solids, up from $2,150 to $2,220.

One processor attributed the increase to early indications that stainless mills are buying slightly more than expected for December in order to take advantage of a soft scrap market.

"They’ve brought some buying forward," he said, adding that this could mean January’s buys will be less than previously anticipated.

But a second processor disagreed with this assessment. "There’s just no sign of orders. This (rise) could blow up; who knows?" he said, adding that he expects consumers to return in earnest at the beginning of the new year.

The cash nickel contract traded at $17,315 per tonne in Tuesday’s official session on the London Metal Exchange, down from $17,600 per tonne the previous day but well above the $16,670 per tonne recorded one week ago.

Some sources also said that prices are rising because dealers are unwilling to sell at the previous lower numbers, though some still showed little sign of budging.

"I wouldn’t sell it anyway. Maybe if they went to 80 (cents per pound, or $1,792 per ton for 304 clips and solids)," one dealer said.

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