NEW YORK Stainless steel scrap processor buying prices continued their climb this week as nickel tags maintained their rally and available material remained tight, market participants said.
AMMs broker/processor buying prices for Type 316 solids rose to $1,905 to $1,970 per gross ton from $1,880 to $1,950 per ton Dec. 17, Type 304 solids jumped to $1,455 to $1,500 per ton from $1,400 to $1,455 previously and 304 turnings increased to $1,250 to $1,300 per ton from $1,230 to $1,255 per ton.
Dealer and processor sources both noted increases across 300-grade scrap, thanks to the LMEs continuing rally and a prevailing tightness in available material on the ground.
The London Metal Exchanges cash nickel contract closed the official session Dec. 23 at $14,310 per tonne ($6.49 per pound), up 1.8 percent from $14,060 per tonne ($6.38 per pound) Dec. 16 and its highest level since reaching $14,580 per tonne ($6.61 per pound) Nov. 1. The contract slipped slightly Dec. 24, ending the official session at $14,050 per tonne ($6.37 per pound).
"I think overall, things are improving. ... Demand looks fine. Theres still a shortage of scrap. People are dying to buy material," one processor source said.
"Demand at the mills is picking up, but my question is where youre going to find it. ... Material is tight, tight as can be," one dealer source said.
"There is demand, and scrap is reasonably tight," a second processor source said. "Theres been a bit of (upward) movement. Were in the higher end of the trading range for the last six months, on a spot basis."