Nickel price fall endangers Italian stainless scrap increases

Italian stainless steel scrap prices are increasing this month as expected thanks to a strong demand, particularly for finished flat products, and last month’s increases in nickel values.

However, nickel has been see-sawing lately and its prices have declined significantly in March. This should have an impact on next month’s scrap contracts for delivery at the end of March and in April. Italian mills’ scrap purchase prices are based on the previous month’s nickel values, unlike French mills that consider nickel prices in the current month, sellers tell Kallanish.

At present, 304 grade stainless steel scrap is sold at €1,420-1,430/t ($1,688-1,700) delivered on average. Grade 316 has reached €1,880-1,900/t delivered this month, with an increase of almost €200/t ($238) compared to the beginning of February, mainly driven by low availability, sources say.

Meanwhile, offers for nickel cash buyers were at $19,352/t as of 24 February and sunk to $15,916/t on 9 March, Kallanish is told.

Natalia Capra France