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Stainless and chrome scrap prices reach higher ground

Global – Stainless steel scrap traders are reporting higher levels of demand from the mills over recent weeks and, as a consequence, prices have improved further to US$ 1030-1080 per tonne for 304 grade material and to US$ 1330-1380 for the 316 quality.

At the end of March, the respective ranges were US$ 980-1030 and US$ 1280-1330 per tonne. Meanwhile, chrome scrap values have profited from a surge in steel scrap prices, jumping over the last month from US$ 170-210 to US$ 200-240 per tonne for the 409 grade and from US$ 260-300 to US$ 290-330 for the 430 quality.

A sustainably firmer nickel market has fuelled a greater sense of hope among market participants after a 2015 in which nearly all of the major stainless steel scrap traders recorded substantial losses.

According to recently-released statistics from the International Stainless Steel Forum, world stainless steel melt shop production edged 0.3% lower last year to 41.548 million tonnes. Chinese production dipped 0.6% to 21.562 million tonnes but the country still accounted for well over half of the world total.  

The full version of Recycling International’s latest Nickel & Stainless report will appear in its May issue.

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