US stainless steel processor buying prices for 304 and 316 solids inched lower on Friday while turnings increased amid strong mill demand and rising LME Nickel prices.
The daily Davis Indexes for 304 solids and 316 solids fell by 0.2¢/lb each to settle at 88.9¢/lb delivered processor yard and $1.160/lb for single truckloads, respectively.
Scrap 304 turnings grew by 0.5¢/lb to 85.1¢/lb delivered and increased by the same amount for 316 turnings to 1.064¢/lb, delivered processor yard.
LME nickel prices continued to climb with the official three-month contract soaring by $335/mt from Thursday to $19,080/mt on Friday. The official cash contract closed at $18,895/mt today, up by $200/mt from yesterday.
Prices for 304 and 316 solids are expected to pick up the pace next week despite some softening towards the end of this week as mill demand remains robust. Processors believe that the persistent tightness in supply will drive prices higher in the near term.