NEW YORK Stainless steel
scrap prices have fallen further as London Metal Exchange
nickel prices dropped below the $7-per-pound mark, and market
participants doubt that demand will improve before the
Processor/broker buying prices
for 316 solids and clips dropped to a range of $2,050 to $2,105
per gross ton from $2,075 to $2,130 previously, while 304
solids and clips were between $1,380 and $1,435 per gross ton,
down from $1,400 to $1,455.
Dealer buying prices also
dropped, with 316 solids and clips generally between 74 and 76
cents per pound, down from 78 to 80 cents previously, and 304
solids and clips in a range of 48 to 50 cents per pound, down
from 52 to 54 cents.
The LME cash nickel contract
ended the April 23 official session at $15,085 per tonne ($6.84
per pound), down 4.1 percent from $15,730 per tonne ($7.14 per
pound) a week earlier.
Market participants told
AMM that the ongoing plunge in nickel prices was
exacerbating continually weak demand.
"No one is really looking to
purchase," one dealer source said. "And there is no real
offshore demand, which has traditionally prompted more
aggressive domestic demand."
"Were all unsure about
orders for May," a processor source said. "Theres a lot
of uncertainty right now."
"Were off to a pretty
mediocre start to 2013, and it doesnt feel like its
going to change in the next 30 or 60 days," a second processor
A second dealer source, who
reported selling a shipment of more than 70,000 pounds of Type
304 and 316 stainless last week, said that his company likely
will sit out the market while prices are in a lull. "I cleaned
out a big hole, and Im in no hurry to book any material
this week," he said. "Stainless seems to be one of the worst
metals on the board in the pricing drop-off. Im pushing
out a lot of red metals and aluminum; thats where the