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Stainless scrap prices gather momentum

Global – Despite some ups and downs, the 304 grade of stainless steel scrap still finished last month at US$ 1800-1850 per tonne – well above the late-April level of US$ 1710-1760 given in Recycling International’s May issue. Helped by molybdenum firmness, the 316 quality jumped from US$ 2290-2340 per tonne to US$ 2400-2450 over the same period, whereas 409 and 430 chrome scrap prices were unchanged at, respectively, US$ 410-450 and US$ 510-550.

The latest summary of nickel production and usage published by the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) shows a surplus of 13 400 tonnes for the first quarter of this year and stocks in LME warehouses of more than 284 000 tonnes.

In both instances, the production and consumption figures exceeded those for the same period last year. In 2013, stainless steel scrap availability amounted to 8.757 million tonnes, corresponding to a nickel content of 700 560 tonnes. The INSG determined a global primary nickel production of 1.94 million tonnes.

The availabílity forecast for stainless steel scrap in 2014 is 9.383 million tonnes with a nickel content of 750 640 tonnes, while primary nickel production should remain unchanged.

The full version of Recycling International’s latest nickel & stainless market analysis will appear in its June/July 2014 issue.

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