NEW YORK Stainless steel scrap prices have fallen, with plunging terminal nickel markets and reportedly nonexistent demand putting more downward pressure on buying prices.
Broker/processor buying prices for Type 304 solids dropped to a range of $1,200 to $1,255 per gross ton from $1,275 to $1,335 previously, 304 turnings fell to $1,075 to $1,120 per ton from $1,120 to $1,175 and 316 solids dropped to $1,850 to $1,925 per ton from $1,960 to $2,015.
Prices are at their lowest levels since June 2009, when 304 solids were in a range of $1,150 to $1,175 per ton.
Meanwhile, dealer buying prices also have taken a hit, with 304 solids dropping to a range of 41 to 44 cents per pound from 44 to 47 cents previously.
The London Metal Exchanges cash nickel contract closed the official session June 25 at $13,865 per tonne ($6.29 per pound), down 1.1 percent from $14,025 per tonne ($6.36 per pound) a week earlier and 9.1 percent lower than $15,255 per tonne ($6.92 per pound) June 5.
"With the fall in nickel, and the reduction again of percentages of nickel paid by the mills, the price has fallen again. July looks to be as weak as we have seen since early 2009. We are in for a long summer," one processor said.
"Theres no incentive for people to buy right now," a second processor said. "At some point, people will wish they had jumped in because prices are very low, but right now it feels like they could go lower."
One dealer predicted that broker/processor buying prices for 304 solids would soon fall below 50 cents per pound ($1,120 per gross ton). "Business really sucks," he said. "People wont even answer the phone. Its going to be in the 40s real soon, probably by next week. Theres just no demand."