US stainless steel processor buying prices rose for 304 grades but remained unchanged for 316 grades on Friday amid increasing LME nickel prices and strong demand from the export market.
The daily Davis Index for 304 solids inched up by 0.3¢/lb to 90¢/lb delivered processor yard and was unchanged for 316 solids at $1.219/lb for single truckloads.
Scrap 304 turnings increased by 0.4¢/lb to 86.2¢/lb delivered and 316 turnings trended flat at $1.124/lb, delivered processor yard.
LME nickel prices rose from Thursday by $430/mt with the official three-month LME Nickel contract settling at $19,875/mt on Friday. The official cash contract closed Friday at $19,815/mt, up by $450/mt from Thursday.
Stainless steel scrap prices have trended sideways through this week. Still, improving demand and higher LME Nickel prices are likely to push them up in the next week. Moreover, strong demand in the export market has seen 304 solids being offered at as much as 93-94c/lb and 316 solids at $1.38/lb, delivered dock with prompt payment. This may cause competition for these grades to stiffen in the domestic market and put additional upward pressure on prices.