US stainless steel processor buying prices were rangebound on Tuesday following volatile LME nickel prices and mixed market sentiment.
The daily Davis Index for 304 solids rose by 0.3¢/lb to 90.5¢/lb delivered processor yard and decreased for 316 solids by 0.2¢/lb to $1.193/lb for single truckloads.
Scrap 304 turnings remained unchanged at 86¢/lb delivered and inched up for 316 turnings by 0.5¢/lb to 1.11¢/lb, delivered processor yard.
LME nickel prices increased by $295/mt from Monday with the official three-month LME Nickel contract settling at $18,590/mt on Tuesday. The official cash contract closed Tuesday at $18,718/mt, down by $30/mt from Monday.
Stainless steel prices began experiencing a downward pressure early last week in tandem with a fall in ferrous scrap prices and mills anticipating lower tonnages for September. However, the trend impacted scrap flows, tightening supply, which resulted in prices gaining momentum towards the end of the week. Still, the market for stainless steel scrap remains uncertain and processors are cautious about stocking up their inventory to avoid excess volumes that may not sell should the prices decline again.