US stainless steel processor buying prices fell for the 304 grades but inched up for 316 grades on Thursday amid increasing LME nickel prices and mixed market sentiment.
The daily Davis Index for 304 solids dropped by 1.2¢/lb to 90.3¢/lb delivered processor yard and increased for 316 solids by 1¢/lb to $1.213/lb for single truckloads.
Scrap 304 turnings declined by 1¢/lb to 86¢/lb delivered and increased by the same amount rose for 316 turnings to $1.113/lb delivered processor yard.
LME nickel prices climbed by $495/mt from Wednesday with the official three-month LME Nickel contract settling at $20,170/mt on Thursday. The official cash contract closed Thursday at 20,075/mt, up $425/mt from Wednesday.
Supply constraints are spurring the demand for some grades of stainless steel scrap. That said, many processors have enough inventory to fulfill demand while buying scrap at lower prices. Participants are also noticing a drop in requirements from big mills while the smaller ones are buying more material. All these factors are leading to a mixed market sentiment with processors still trying to gauge upcoming market trends.