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Lower demand spurs drop in stainless scrap prices

Keywords: Tags  stainless scrap prices, stainless scrap demand, nickel, stainless scrap solids and clips, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Stainless scrap processor buying prices have declined as a lack of orders from consumers has impacted industry demand, according to traders.

Processors are currently paying between $2,350 and $2,420 per gross ton for 316 solids and clips, down from $2,370 to $2,420 previously, while 304 solids and clips fell to $1,700 to $1,745 per ton from $1,745 to $1,810.

Prices for 430 bundles and solids dropped to $480 to $520 per ton from $500 to $540 previously, while 409 bundles and solids fell to $380 to $430 per ton from $400 to $450.

The price decline was largely anticipated, scrap dealers and processors told AMM last week (, Jan. 23).

"Last week, things were medium-sloppy and looking to correct down a little bit. And I think it has played out that way," one processor said.

"The price of chrome may have moved up, but the mills aren’t going to acknowledge that now," a second processor added.

Trading activity was slower than expected due to a lack of demand from stainless consumers and was widely cited as motivating the price drop.

"The order books do not look good for February," the second processor said.

"The mills aren’t buying as much as we projected," one scrap dealer added.

"We see a lack of domestic demand. Everyone got excited in January thinking that nickel prices would be better and production would be up, and so far none of that has come to fruition," a third processor said.

The first processor said that macroeconomic factors were also causing hesitation from some consumers, adding that a projected boost in the wider economy should improve activity.

"With the recent uptick in the S&P and the Dow, maybe there are better times ahead. We just need an overall lift to the entire complex," he said.

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