NEW YORK Stainless scrap broker/processor buying prices have risen slightly as a bump in nickel pricing prompted some buyers to chase material.
Prices for 304 solids rose to a range of $1,185 to $1,255 per gross ton from $1,175 to $1,230 previously; 304 turnings moved up to $1,075 to $1,120 per ton from $1,050 to $1,100; 316 solids increased to $1,835 to $1,905 per ton from $1,825 to $1,880; and 409 turnings rose to $310 to $360 per ton from $290 to $340.
The cash nickel contract on the London Metal Exchange closed the official session July 23 at $13,975 per tonne ($6.34 per pound), up 4.4 percent from $13,380 per tonne ($6.07 per pound) July 15.
"Prices are edging up," one processor source said. "People are getting excited about the nickel rise. We dont think its a long-term trend, but some companies have been a bit more active. Maybe they think this is the bottom and theyre going to go for it."
"Nickel and copper has gone up a little bit, and that definitely has helped us out. Were just trying to stay competitive," a second processor source said.
However, some market participants reported little discernible change in sentiment or activity, despite the rise in nickel pricing.
"We havent quoted anybody this week," one dealer said. "Were no longer even selling it; were just buying it, baling it, briquetting it and putting it down. If you can afford to sit on it, youre better off; theres no point in giving it away."
Dealer buying prices were unchanged, with 304 solids in a range of 40 to 42 cents per pound f.o.b. Pittsburgh.