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Stainless scrap prices contiue to rise

Keywords: Tags  stainless steel, stainless scrap, nickel, London Metal Exchange, LME, dealer prices, broker prices, processor prices buying prices

NEW YORK — Stainless scrap prices continued to rise this week as spot market availability remained tight and nickel rallied after Indonesia’s ore export ban took effect, market players said.

AMM’s broker/processor buying prices posted across-the-board gains, including 400-grade material. Dealer and processor sources emphasized continuing tightness in spot material on the ground, citing rising raw material prices, including the London Metal Exchange nickel price’s recent rally, spurred by Indonesia’s implementation this week of an ore export ban expected to impact China’s nickel pig iron industry.

The LME’s cash nickel contract closed the official session Jan. 14 at $14,285 per tonne ($6.48 per pound), up 6 percent from $13,480 per tonne ($6.11 per pound) a week earlier. The contract slipped 0.3 percent Jan. 15, ending the session at $14,245 per tonne ($6.46 per pound).

"Almost everything is in good demand right now. ... Scrap is reasonably tight, supplies are reasonably constrained and you have a little bit of a buying furor amongst processors," one processor source said.

"I think the shortage has caught people unexpectedly," the processor added. "Scrap is always viewed as being in oversupply, and it currently is not. And when you couple that with the tightness in primary (nickel), it’s tough to get the units you need."

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