Most stainless steel scrap prices on Tuesday increased as offers rose but trades were thin as most major mills have diverted their liquid oxygen supplies for medical purposes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country.
Majority of the traders, trying to negotiate a deal with domestic mills, said that markets were quiet. Most mills are not procuring material for the time being as production has been hit due to shortage of oxygen cylinders. Mills are working with existing inventories while waiting for their material which is in transit. Some buyers are avoiding material that need to be cut, as gas cutters cannot be operated without oxygen.
The weekly Davis Index for 304 (18-8) solids on Tuesday settled higher by $12/mt at $1,681/mt cfr India port driven by high offers between $1,675-1,700/mt. Limited deals were heard at $1,685/mt on Tuesday.
Offers for 316 on Tuesday was heard between $2,280-2,300/mt but mills were silent and less responsive on Tuesday. There is a lot of uncertainty in the domestic market regarding demand from end-users. With lockdown restrictions, consumer durables sector is bound to suffer — which is a major consumer of stainless steel.
The weekly Davis Index for 316 solids on Tuesday settled at $2,279/mt cfr India port, up by $28/mt. Deals were heard at $2,270/mt cfr India port on Tuesday.
The weekly index for Zurik 85/3 on Tuesday settled at $1,436/mt cfr India port, up by $14/mt. Market participants shared that there is shortage of Zurik scrap and high freight charges are hampering supply. This is supporting prices of Zurik.
The weekly Davis Index for 430 solids on Tuesday rose by $19/mt to $648/mt cfr India port. Offers were heard between $660-680/mt cfr India port. Demand is currently low but is expected to increase once domestic market recovers.
The weekly Davis Index for 304 (18-8) solids on Tuesday settled at Rs1,442/mt cfr Taiwan, up by $4/mt. Demand from southeast nations is high, according to traders who have diverted their focus towards them as demand from India is low. The weekly Davis Index for 316 solids on Tuesday settled at $2,110/mt cfr Taiwan port, up by $12/mt.
Demand for stainless steel scrap is high globally which is why offers are rising even when demand from Indian mills is dormant. Most offers on Tuesday were up in line with LME nickel. The official three-month LME nickel contract on Monday settled at $16,495/mt, up by $375/mt over the week.