Imported stainless steel scrap prices rose, this week, as sellers raised offers in line with a surge in LME nickel levels. The official three-month LME nickel contract on Friday settled at $17,512/mt, up by $1,017/m or 6pc in a week. Trades have thinned with most mills in major cities either shutting down or curtailing operations due to lockdown and curfew.
The weekly Davis Index for 304 (18-8) solids on Tuesday settled at $1,733/mt cfr India port, up by $52/mt driven by higher offers amid a jump in LME nickel. Offers for 304 (18-8) solids were heard between $1,730-1,780/mt cfr India port. Deals were heard at $1,720-1,740/mt cfr India port.
Some traders believe that demand for stainless steel scrap has not weakened in India but only halted due to the COVID-19 situation. Pent-up demand will play a vital role in the coming days as soon as the scenario changes and economic activities normalize.
The Davis Index for 316 solids settled at $2,335/mt, up by $56/mt compared to the prior week. The scrap grade was also supported by a jump in molybdenum prices. Offers for 316 ranged exceeded $2,350 to 2,400/mt. Deals were heard around $2,32/mt cfr India port. Very few deals and offers were heard on Tuesday.
The weekly Index for Zurik 85/3, Tuesday, settled at $1,469/mt cfr India port, up by $33/mt on higher offers amid short supply. Offers for Zurik heard around $1,470-1,480/mt while bids remained under $1,450/mt cfr India port. The Davis Index for 430 solids, Tuesday, settled at $660/mt cfr India port after rising by $12/mt from a week ago.
Demand for the material has slipped significantly, market participants said. Prices Zurik and 430 solids both rely on ferrous scrap prices which have gained this week, leading to increased offers for the material.
The Davis Index for 304 (18-8) solids, Tuesday, settled at $1,447/mt cfr Taiwan port, up $5/mt. Mills booked material at almost the same price last week. The index for 316 solids on Tuesday settled at $2,112/mt cfr Taiwan port, up by $2/mt. COVID-19 cases in Taiwan are well under control and the economy is running smoothly. Mills are operating at normal rates and demand remains strong in most Southeast and East Asian countries, including Taiwan.