US stainless steel processor buying prices fell for 304 solids and turnings but increased for the 316 grades on increasing LME Nickel prices.
The daily Davis Index for scrap 304 solids inched down by 0.5¢/lb to 72¢/lb delivered processor yard while 316 solids increased by 2.3¢/lb to 94¢/lb for single truckloads.
The index for scrap 304 turnings decreased by 1.3¢/lb to 64.2¢/lb delivered and inched up for 316 turnings by 0.5¢/lb to 84¢/lb delivered processor yard.
LME Nickel prices rose by $31/mt from Monday with the official three-month LME Nickel contract settling at $18,133/mt on Tuesday. The official cash contract closed Tuesday at $18,075/mt, up by $19/mt from Monday.
The buoyancy in the LME Nickel market, as well as consistent demand from mills, has put upward pressure on stainless-steel processor buying prices in January.
That said, participants are skeptical about this trend continuing in February given that the outlook on domestic ferrous trade has softened. On the other hand, some processors believe that price increases may sustain into February if the LME Nickel market continues to climb. As a result, market participants’ views are varying on which way stainless steel prices could move next month.