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Stainless scrap prices halt their recent slide

Keywords: Tags  stainless scrap, scrap demand, stainless scrap prices, London Metal Exchange, LME, scrap processors, scrap dealers, nickel prices Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Stainless steel scrap broker/processor buying prices have arrested their slide, with many market participants waiting until after the July 4 holiday for a clearer indication on pricing.

The only grade to show movement was 304 turnings, which fell to $1,050 to $1,100 per gross ton from $1,075 to $1,120 previously. Holding steady were 304 solids, at $1,200 to $1,255 per ton, and 316 solids, at $1,850 to $1,925 per ton.

Dealer prices were also unchanged, with 304 solids trading in a range of 42 to 44 cents per pound f.o.b. Pittsburgh.

The cash nickel contract on the London Metal Exchange closed the official session at $13,915 per tonne ($6.31 per pound) July 2, an increase of 0.4 percent from $13,865 per tonne ($6.29 per pound) June 25.

Scrap market participants told AMM that few companies were looking to take a position in a week interrupted by the July 4 holiday.

"There’s not a lot going on in the marketplace. There’s a lot of uncertainty," one processor said.

"Someone I spoke to said they might not price stainless until next week. It’s not surprising, considering that most places will be closed Friday as well as Thursday," a second processor added.

While most processors forecast further price drops over the rest of the summer, a third processor said he had been forced to raise buying prices slightly on 304 solids. "We have to stay competitive," he added.

Market participants told AMM this week that they don’t expect Keywell LLC’s decision to idle three of its processing facilities to have any effect on free-market pricing (, July 1).

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