The US stainless market has seen a wide range of pricing since the beginning of the month as the ferrous market trends lower.
Some processors pushed down their prices, citing lower outlays on the iron component of stainless grades.In contrast, others mentioned better demand for nickel-bearing scrap against a volatile but stronger nickel market, which is keeping pricing level.
The daily Davis Index for scrap 304 solids was slightly lower at 49.5¢/lb delivered processor yard, down by four-tenths of a cent, and dropped by the same amount for 316 solids at 69.5¢/lb for single truckloads delivered US processor.
The index for scrap 304 turnings dropped to 45.2¢/lb delivered from 45.9¢/lb delivered and moved down for 316 turnings by 0.9¢/lb to 60.4¢/lb delivered.
LME nickel prices increased by $31/mt on Friday from a day earlier, with the official three-month LME nickel contract settling at $13,320/mt.
Regional demand and low melting capacity at US steel mills have created a unique market for stainless steel. Some processors with orders needed to continue to buy scrap and observed that pushing prices down would shut off the flows. Others, who were satisfied with inventories moved pricing lower to reduce their average cost in the wake of more bad news in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic creating divergent and segmented markets throughout the country.