Imported stainless steel (SS) scrap prices gained on Tuesday driven by higher offers and improvement in the Indian markets as trades gain momentum. Offers could rise further in the coming days, shared traders. Much will also depend on how LME nickel moves. The official three-month contract on Monday settled at $18,885/mt, up by $344/mt from a week ago, also supporting scrap prices.
SS 316 solids jumped by almost 7pc or $200/mt in a week driven by material shortage and high global demand. This is the sharpest jump the material has witnessed in over a year. The weekly Davis Index for 316 solids on Tuesday increased due to a shortage of material to settle at $2,875/mt cfr India port, up by $205/mt. The Davis Index for 316 solids for Taiwan settled at $2,645/mt cfr Taiwan port, up by $85/mt in a week as offers rose due to shortages.
The weekly Davis Index for 304 (18-8) solids on Tuesday settled at $1,987/mt cfr India port, up by $93/mt as offers increased amid strong demand from mills. Offers were heard beyond $2,000/mt. Some deals were also heard around $2,010/mt cfr India port levels. The Davis Index for 304 (18-8) solids on Tuesday settled at $2,645/mt cfr Taiwan port, up by $60/mt from a week prior driven by rise in offers and firm demand.
The Davis Index for 430 solids on Tuesday slipped slightly by $8/mt due to lower bids and settled at $737/mt cfr India port. Offers, however, were heard around $800/mt cfr India port and bids were heard around $700/mt from mills on Tuesday. A vast difference between bids and offers led to low trades for the material. The Davis Index for Zurik 85/3 on Tuesday settled at $1,625/mt cfr India port, up by $37/mt, driven by material shortage and decent demand from Indian market players.
Stainless steel markets remained hopeful as auto production backlogs have piled up, which would translate into higher demand for not just SS but other industrial metals as well. Most automakers expect higher sales on pent-up demand. Ahead of the festive season, SS prices are expected to only move upwards, said traders, unless COVID-19 disrupts businesses again.