Prices, demand for stainless scrap said steady

NEW YORK — Stainless steel scrap processor prices have remained steady, with April demand appearing to be no different than March levels, according to market participants.

Processor buying prices for Type 316 clips and solids remain in a range of $2,175 to $2,240 per gross ton, and 304 clips and solids are steady at $1,475 to $1,545 per ton.

Dealer prices also were unchanged, with 304 clips and solids generally trading in a range of 52 to 54 cents per pound.

One stainless scrap dealer described the market as a "split world," with domestic prices lagging behind the export market, claiming Type 304 material was sold to India at $1,615 per ton. "I think they’re short and that’s why they need some material," he said. "Domestically, things are very weak. The processors are getting everything they need."

April orders don’t appear to be any different than March levels thus far, market participants told AMM, although they acknowledged that the Easter holiday might have been a factor in the quiet market activity.

"(Processors are) buying, but they’re buying selectively," a second dealer said. "It’s OK now and it might be OK in May, but come June it’s going to go down. Generally, if they go down for maintenance in July they won’t buy anything in June."

"I’ve got half a million pounds of (stainless scrap) here, and I can’t get out from under any of it," a third dealer said.

The cash nickel contract ended the London Metal Exchange’s official session April 2 at $16,390 per tonne ($7.43 per pound), down 3.3 percent from $16,950 per tonne ($7.69 per pound) a week earlier.


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