High mill stocks hamper Italian stainless scrap sales

Italian stainless steel scrap prices are flat month-on-month in new July contracts depending on grade. Some grades are less sought after and therefore decreasing in price, merchants in the country tell Kallanish.

The unprecedented downturn in the domestic and European stainless steel sector is persisting. Prices for finished flat products and tubes continue to fall and both producers’ and distributors’ stocks are said to be high. Merchants in Italy are selling very small volumes for July, while some mills have put off their July scrap deliveries to September because of their high stocks. Demand also remains subdued due to Acciai Speciali Terni’s substantial production cut, with no change from last month.

Domestic grade 304 scrap is sold at €960-990/tonne ($1,085-1,119) delivered excluding blend, a less pure scrap quality that is mixed and processed by merchants with 304. The high point of the range is paid by larger mills.

Grade 316 prices are on a downward trend. Despite the short supply, mills are not requesting this grade. Prices for 316 are now at €1,430-1,440/t delivered on average, some €50/t less compared to last month, sources say.

Merchants say they consider July “…the worst month in the past ten years.”