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An August battering for stainless scrap values

Global – Owing to low scrap demand from the mills over the holiday period and to turbulence on the nickel market, stainless steel scrap prices slumped during August.

The 304 quality tumbled from US$ 1240-1290 per tonne to US$ 1100-1150 while the range for 316 material has been clipped from US$ 1570-1620 to just US$ 1430-1480. By comparison, chrome scrap prices have remained relatively stable, with the 409 quality at US$ 270-310 per tonne and 430 material at US$ 370-410.

During August, nickel prices plunged from around US$ 11 000 per tonne to a low of US$ 9100 after China allowed the Yuan to devalue, prompting fears that metals demand would slow even more and that a weaker currency would make imports more expensive for Chinese buyers. Prices subsequently recovered on bargain-hunting by consumers but the turbulence within all raw material markets does not offer any guarantees that this level will be maintained.

Leading analyst Heinz H. Pariser Alloy Metals & Steel Market Research of Germany reports that EU crude stainless steel output reached 1.958 million tonnes in the second quarter of this year for an increase of 2.1% over the quarter 1 figure; however, year-to-date production was 5.2% short of last year’s corresponding total.

The full version of Recycling International’s latest nickel and stainless steel market analysis will appear in its September 2015 issue.

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