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Stainless Steel Market Update

The song remains the same…


Just as Led Zeppelin released an album of the same name in the 70’s, the stainless market appears to be stuck in the same cord of softening prices. 


Indeed, the nickel market has recently hit a psychological ‘blow’ with nickel trading below $5/lb – AMM quotes one dealer stating the LME is at the edge of the cliff! 


The song of lowering scrap metal prices has unfortunately been sung by myself since spring, as market pricing and consumer demand appear to working in concert – resulting in yet continued price deterioration.


The dance floor that is underpinning the LME continues to drop.  This is main driver of declining pricing is the decline that the LME has experienced over the past 12 months.  However, back to our economics 101 – there is enough supply to keep the mills working, so there is no pressure on mills to tighten spreads or look for supply.  It’s a broken record, but based on the article I read recently in the AMM, there doesn’t appear to be a change in the needle until late winter/early spring for scrap metal pricing to firm up.


As I have said before, the pricing is still no where near the levels of yesteryear when dealers were selling 304 stainless for 25 cents.  However, the scrap metal pricing softness is affecting both 300 series stainless and ferritic (400 series/magnetic) stainless all the same.  So brace yourselves for softer scrap metal pricing for your stainless and nickel alloy scrap metal pricing. 


As you know, we watch the markets closely in order to get you the best value for your scrap materials.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.



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