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Stainless scrap prices flat; September outlook mixed

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

NEW YORK — Stainless scrap processors have reported mixed sentiment from consumers as they await September orders.

Processor buying prices for Type 304 solids held steady at $1,345 to $1,415 per gross ton. Dealer buying prices were also unchanged, with 304 solids at 40 to 42 cents per pound.

The London Metal Exchange’s cash nickel contract closed the official session at $14,325 per tonne ($6.50 per pound) Aug. 27, down 1.6 percent from $14,565 per tonne ($6.61 per pound) Aug. 20. The LME was closed Aug. 26 for a summer bank holiday.

A recent recovery in nickel pricing has prompted an increase in buying activity throughout August, although processors remain wary of taking on too much inventory, market participants have said (, Aug. 20).

"We’ve got reasonably OK indications for September orders, but there’s mixed sentiment. Some people are still very nervous, especially when we’re hearing that companies in Europe are trimming their orders," one processor said.

A second processor claimed that "September and October orders look up somewhat," while a third processor said he expected consumer orders to remain at "pedestrian levels" for September.

Meanwhile, export market demand has been impacted by a weakening of the rupee against the U.S. dollar, a fourth processor said, adding that "we’ve been having some issues selling there."

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