NEW YORK Stainless scrap demand has improved, reportedly
spurred by an increase in nickel prices, although some
processors question whether the price rise will continue.
Processor buying prices for Type 304 solids moved up to a range
of $1,345 to $1,415 per gross ton Aug. 19 from $1,300 to $1,360
previously, while 304 turnings moved up to a range of $1,200 to
$1,255 per gross ton from $1,150 to $1,200. All other processor
buying prices and all dealer prices were unchanged.
The London Metal Exchanges cash nickel contract closed
the official session Aug. 20 at $14,565 per tonne ($6.61 per
pound), up 1.3 percent from $14,375 per tonne ($6.52 per pound)
The increase comes as nickel prices have rebounded slightly
over the first half of August, rising 7.3 percent from $13,570
per tonne ($6.16 per pound) on July 30.
Rising prices are encouraging many processors to seek more
material while stainless scrap prices remain relatively low,
although some doubt that the increases are underpinned by
Things are getting a little warmer price-wise. I think
everybody expected the nickel rise to be a blip and it would
crash back down, but its staying here, so were
starting to accept the reality of the new nickel level,
one processor said. I cant understand
ityouve got record stocks on the LME, poor demand,
it seems strange. I can only assume it was a speculative
Theres a little more frenzy on the 18/8 (Type 304),
and people are looking for secondary product, a second
processor said. I still have the nagging feeling that the
overall rise in nickel is suspect. Im not sure
whats causing it, especially when you have this very
visible stock issue. Its better that its up rather
than down, even if its artificial, because it may stimulate
order entries at the mill as people dont want to miss
However, a third processor said he wouldnt know until the
end of the month whether the nickel rise would boost consumer
demand for scrap.
Global nickel stocks in LME-listed warehouses stood at 205,758
tonnes Aug. 16, including 1,410 tonnes stored in warehouses in
Chicago and Detroit.