Stainless steel scrap prices on Tuesday were flat to down after falling by over 6-7pc in the previous week, driven by a sharp fall in LME. The official three-month LME nickel contract on Monday settled at $16,231/mt, down $86/mt from prior Monday, which led to imported scrap prices to remain almost flat. In India, most mills were bidding at an ‘unworkable’ level, said traders. Very few offers were heard as prices are currently low and sellers would want to wait for nickel to rise and influence scrap prices too.
The Davis Index for 304 (18-8) solids on Tuesday settled at $1,525/mt cfr India port, down $5/mt on low bids. Very few offers were heard as prices have come down to very low levels and sellers chose to wait. On the other hand, buyers want to take the opportunity and are bidding at much lower levels than the reigning market price or offers.
European-origin 304 (18-8) scrap prices were heard at $1600-1650/mt while US-origin scrap was heard at $1,550/mt cfr India port levels. The weekly Davis Index for 316 solids on Tuesday settled at $2,109/mt cfr India port, down by $8/mt. 316 prices fell more relative to 304 as nickel content is higher in the former. Some offers for 316 were heard around $2,100/mt cfr India port on the lower side for European origin — similar offers were heard in the previous week, too. Very few trades were heard in the absence of a clear price direction.
The weekly Davis Index for Zurik 85/3 settled at $1,304/mt cfr India port, down by $4/mt, also driven by low bids. Demand is firm and not the parameter for bringing the index down. Zurik prices are likely to dip further as ferrous scrap prices have also diminished.
The weekly Index for 430 solids on Tuesday jumped by $12/mt to $570/mt cfr India port. Some offers were heard between $550-600/mt cfr India port and some bids were heard at $540/mt levels. Sellers refrained from selling at under-$560/mt cfr India port, explaining that the bid prices are not workable.
The weekly Davis Index for Taiwan on Tuesday for 304 (18-8) settled at $1,455/mt cfr Taiwan port, down by $10/mt from last Tuesday. The weekly index for 316 solids fell by $11/mt to $2,125/mt cfr Taiwan port. Prices are moving in sync with LME nickel.
Some European traders supplying scrap to India said that there maybe a shortage of material in the coming days which is likely to support prices. However, Indian importers opined that sellers would likely hold on to material until nickel prices rise further.