NEW YORK Stainless steel
scrap processor prices have remained largely unchanged, with
market demand and official nickel prices holding steady,
although a rise in nickel prices in January pushed up consumer
prices on several grades.
Processors are buying 304 solids
in a range of $1,700 to $1,790 per gross ton vs. $1,700 to
$1,765 previously, while 316 solids are steady at between
$2,350 and $2,420 per ton. The price range for 430
solidsthe only other processor grade to movewidened
to $465 to $520 per ton from $480 to $520.
The London Metal Exchange cash
nickel price closed the official session Feb. 12 at $18,285 per
tonne ($8.29 per pound), down 1.5 percent from $18,565 per
tonne ($8.42 per pound) a week earlier.
"As long as nickel stays in
(the) $8.20 range, I dont see anything changing too
much," one scrap dealer said.
"We dont seem to be making
much progress above $8.25. Theres enough flownot
great, but enoughto meet demand," a processor source
said. "We dont need nickel to go up; we need demand to go
Meanwhile, consumers purchased
316 solids in a range of $2,475 to $2,525 per ton, up from
$2,420 to $2,465 previously, and 304 solids at between $1,800
and $1,890 per ton, up from $1,790 to $1,865.
One consumer source said that
the increase had been prompted by a recent rise in official
nickel pricing, with the LME January average of $17,464.77 per
tonne ($7.92 per pound) up marginally from $17,406.58 per tonne
($7.90 per pound) in December. "Some people are buying, and the
order books are okay," he said. "I dont see a stress on
demand. Theres plenty of scrap out there."
However, some processors told
AMM that the trend was likely to reverse this month
due to slack demand.
"The market is very stagnant
right now, the mill demand is weak and prices are really too
high," a second processor source said. "With nickel falling and
mill demand weak, we could see a downturn in price over the
next couple of weeks."