French stainless scrap prices increase

Stainless steel scrap prices in France are increasing by some €50/tonne ($53) month-on-month, less than initially expected. The hike is due to low material availability but also skyrocketing prices of molybdenum and volatile nickel values, market participants tell Kallanish.

Activity in France will be at normal levels in January. Mills are paying for grade 304 at €1,480-1,580/t delivered this month. The wide range is due to some producers’ refusal to pay the significant increases expected in other European markets amid the high energy and production costs French steelmakers are facing this month. Some are resorting to producing only at night when energy is less expensive.

Grade 316 remains more expensive due to shortages and high molybdenum values. This grade currently fetches around €2,780-2,800/t delivered on average.

While molybdenum prices keep rising due to global production cuts, nickel prices for cash buyers were extremely volatile in December. They reached over $30,000/t last month and fell to $29,750/t on 4 January.

Natalia Capra France