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Another knock for stainless steel sentiment

Global – The stainless steel market is suffering from a lack of momentum. Constantly rising primary nickel stocks on the LME have helped to undermine sentiment and maintain the pressure on values in the stainless steel scrap sector.

At the time of Recycling International’s mid-January report, the 304 quality of stainless steel scrap was attracting US$ 1250-1300 and 316 material some US$ 1750-1800 per tonne; these ranges have edged higher over the intervening five weeks to, respectively, US$ 1275-1325 and US$ 1760-1810.

However, the recent slide in steel scrap prices triggered a decline in chrome scrap values, with the 409 grade falling from US$ 320-360 to US$ 290-330 and the 409 quality from US$ 410-450 to US$ 390-430. The International Nickel Study Group has reported an unexpectedly high surplus for the metal in 2014 of 94 300 tonnes, prompting more caution among consumers.

And according to leading industry analyst Heinz H. Pariser Alloy Metals & Steel Market Research, EU-28 stainless steel scrap imports recorded a year-on-year increase of 12.1% to 2.475 million tonnes in the opening 10 months of last year while exports jumped 13.4% to almost 2.28 million tonnes.

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

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