NEW YORK Stainless scrap
processor buying prices have taken another tumble on lackluster
mill demand and continued weak nickel prices.
Prices for 304 clips and solids
are now trading at $1,525 to $1,570 per gross ton vs. $1,525
and $1,600 per ton a week ago, with 316 clips and solids now at
$2,200 to $2,260 per ton compared with $2,200 to $2,275 per ton
"The mills are not buying.
Its rough. Usually the end of the first quarter is a
booming time for us," one processor said, attributing the lack
of activity to slack end-user demand in a sluggish economy.
As a result, processors are
dropping prices to attract less material and pare
"Slow? They dont even want
it anymore," one dealer said.
There was little expectation of
a near-term pickup in demand as the first quarter has been the
strongest for stainless over the past few years.
"Were done until the fall
now," a second processor said, citing the recent "sequestration
debacle" as one factor keeping economic activity in check.
However, sources generally were
stumped about which stainless end market was primarily
responsible for the drop in demand.
"If I knew what it is, Id
be on Wall Street not Somerset Street," a second dealer
The cash nickel contract on the
London Metal Exchange ended the official session at $16,505 per
tonne ($7.49 per pound) March 5, down slightly from $16,525 per
tonne ($7.50 per pound) a week ago.