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Stainless scrap prices in holding pattern

Global – Stainless steel scrap prices have largely held their ground at the start of 2016 – but the market is still lacking any promise of brighter conditions in the near term

Latest price indications mirror those reported in the late-November issue of Recycling International, with the 304 and 316 qualities of stainless steel scrap clinging to, respectively, US$ 890-940 per tonne and US$ 1200-1250. Similarly with chrome scrap, prices have remained at US$ 200-240 per tonne for the 409 grade and US$ 300-340 for the 430 quality.  

Debate within the marketplace has continued to centre on poor levels of scrap availability, with the low quotations for nickel, chrome and steel scrap, as well as relatively cheap energy prices, having allowed stainless steel producers to reduce scrap usage in their melts and to increase primary metal inputs.

Meanwhile, the International Nickel Study Group has reported an unexpectedly high nickel market oversupply of 53 200 tons for last year’s January-November period. EU-28 stainless steel scrap imports from third countries totalled 353 430 tonnes in the first three quarters of 2015 for a year-on-year increase of 3.7% while EU-28 exports to third countries jumped 9.5% to 257 968 tonnes when making the same comparison.

The full version of Recycling International’s latest nickel and stainless steel market analysis will appear in its January/February 2016 issue.

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