NEW YORK Stainless scrap
processor buying prices have held steady amid waning demand and
tight supply, and market sources say some dealers are holding
material until prices improve.
Prices for 304 clips and solids
remain unchanged in a range of $1,525 to $1,570 per gross ton,
while 316 solids and clips remain at $2,200 to $2,260 per
Business is scant due to patchy
demand from stainless scrap consumers, dealers and processors
"Demand is weak," one processor
said. "The mills bought less for March, and the indications are
for weak demand in the second quarter."
However, supply is also said to
be tightening, with dealers holding off on selling
"A lot of scrap dealers hate the
price and will pile (the scrap) up until prices improve," a
second processor said.
"A lot of dealers are holding in
the hope that 304 will go back up to 80 cents per pound ($1,790
per ton) or above," the first processor added.
One scrap dealer argued that
this strategy could backfire if prices continue to fall.
Dealers "are going to think (current) numbers are good soon,"
"The problem is theres
nothing coming in the door, and that will continue to be the
problem as we go forward," he added. "Its the same old
story: a lack of material and too many scrap dealers. Everybody
is short. Its holding prices for now, but theyll
continue to weaken in small amounts. With stainless,
theres very little demand so its just going to keep
The cash nickel contract ended
the London Metal Exchanges official session at $16,970
per tonne ($7.70 per pound) March 12, up 2.8 percent from
$16,505 per tonne ($7.49 per pound) March 5.