NEW YORK Stainless scrap dealer prices have risen slightly, although most broker/processor prices remained unchanged despite a surge in official nickel prices.
Processors are buying 304 solids and clips in a range of $1,700 to $1,765 per gross ton, up from $1,700 to $1,745 per ton previously, while 316 solids and clips held steady at $2,350 to $2,420 per ton.
Meanwhile, 316 peddler prices increased to 83 to 85 cents per pound (basis Midwest) from 82 to 84 cents, while solids and clips rose to 57 to 59 cents per pound from 56 to 58 cents.
The London Metal Exchanges cash nickel contract closed the official session at $18,565 per tonne ($8.42 per pound) Feb. 5, up 5.3 percent from $17,625 per tonne ($7.99 per pound) Jan. 29.
Seasonally tighter flows had helped prompt a rise in peddler pricing, some scrap dealers said.
"The market is fine; the problem is (that) the flow of material isnt what it should be," one dealer said. "That could be the time of year. In bad weather or cold weather, people dont work as hard."
Meanwhile, the surge in official nickel prices wasnt considered significant enough to offset perceived weakness in demand from the steel sector, one processor said.
"If nickel continues to go up, it will have a lifting effect on stainless prices," he said. "But nickel is nickel; its not actually stainless scrap."
Nickel prices could eventually have an effect on stainless scrap processor prices, but "not yet," a second scrap dealer said.