US stainless steel processor buying prices saw negligible gains across all grades amid increasing LME nickel prices on Friday.
The daily Davis Index for scrap 304 solids inched up by 0.3¢/lb to 53.6¢/lb delivered processor yard and moved up for 316 solids by half a penny to 74.8¢/lb for single truckloads.
The index for scrap 304 turnings increased by 0.1¢/lb to 50.4¢/lb and rose by the same amount for 316 turnings to 67.9¢/lb delivered processor yard.
LME Nickel increased by $300/mt from Thursday with the official three-month LME Nickel contract settling at $15,028/mt on Friday. The official cash contract closed Friday at $14,990/mt, up by $303/mt from Thursday.
The slight gains in stainless steel processing buying prices on Friday bring a volatile week to an end. Stainless prices began the week at higher levels before dropping mid-week only to recover again by Friday. But processors say that these changes are not a reflection of mill demand that has started trending down.
Mills have cut down their tonnage requirement as the end of the year approaches and participant do not expect this trend to change soon. That said, although the demand is slow the supply also looks bleak and processors in some regions are facing tight supply and finding it difficult to fulfill mill orders that is leading to last-minute buying and putting upward pressure on prices.