Imported stainless steel (SS) scrap price trends were mixed across grades on Tuesday with SS 304 and Zurik 85/3 dipping while other grades moving upwards from the week prior. The official three-month LME nickel rose by $247/mt to $18,102/mt on Monday from a week ago which resulted in Taiwan import prices rising.
The weekly Davis Index for SS 304 (18-8) solids on Tuesday settled at $1,606/mt cfr India port, down $20/mt amid lower offers for US origins while European origins were higher for the grade. The weekly index for 316 solids increased by $37/mt to $2,187/mt cfr India port, in line with the rise in LME nickel and molybdenum contracts. The official LME molybdenum prices rose 2pc to $11.35/lb on Monday from the previous week.
The weekly index for Zurik 85/3 on Tuesday settled at $1,254/mt cfr India port, down $23/mt. Prices dipped on lower trades on Tuesday with demand taking a hit in a silent market. The weekly index for SS 430 solids on Tuesday settled at $564/mt, almost flat, up marginally by $1/mt. Zurik prices dropped despite a rise of $169/mt in copper LME three-month contract which settled at $7,992/mt in a week.
Stainless steel scrap prices are expected to dip further due to the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays around February 12. Indian mills are waiting for import prices to fall further to make a competitive procurement. Every year, prices dip during the Chinese New Year holidays and rebound soon afterwards as buying resumes.
With India pushing for infrastructure growth, increased production of pipes and valves will result in higher stainless steel consumption. The government’s plan to manufacture more coaches for railways will also result in demand boost for SS products.
The weekly Davis Index for SS 304 (18-8) solids to Taiwan settled at $1,452/mt cfr Taiwan port, up $18/mt with LME nickel above $18,100/mt levels. Demand was firm from Taiwanese mills and traders with a strong rebound in infrastructure sector. The weekly index for SS 316 solids settled at $2,142/mt cfr Taiwan port, up by $37/mt from previous Tuesday.