US stainless steel processor buying prices saw minor up or down movements, depending on grade on Friday, on balanced demand and supply.
The daily Davis Index for scrap 304 solids fell to 53.4¢/lb delivered processor yard from 53.5¢/lb delivered and moved up for 316 solids to 72.4¢/lb for single truckloads from 72.3¢/lb.
The index for scrap 304 turnings dropped to 46.4¢/lb delivered from 46.9¢/lb delivered and fell for 316 turnings by half a penny to 64.4¢/lb delivered.
LME nickel prices declined by $97/mt from Thursday with the official three-month LME Nickel contract settling at $14,610/mt on Friday. The official cash contract closed Friday at $14,562/mt, down by $104/mt from Thursday.
The stainless steel market is changing every week, according to some processors. This week saw prices moving in a narrow range due to better demand and adequate supply to meet it. However, market participants anticipate prices to fall even if demand strengthens, if processors buy all the material, they need to fulfil their contracts. That said, the chances of demand increasing looks unlikely as the year approaches the last quarter where even in a normal year demand seems to drop.
The industry is still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the US elections looming in November, processors expect the market to sink even further in the last quarter than what it has historically in the last quarter.