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Price Of Stainless Scrap In Japan Is Rising In January, Being Stimulated By Higher Prices In China, Etc.
= Stainless Steel Production In China Is Recovering, Price Of Stainless Scrap In USA Has Also Risen
The actual price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap (new clippings) to be collected from domestic sources of Japan by dealers in January of 2010 has started on a level of Yen 155,000 - 160,000 per metric ton ex. yard, having risen by Yen 10,000 - 15,000 per ton compared with that prevailed in December of 2009. The prices of this scrap to be paid by stainless steel companies for their purchases are following this rise but the circumstances surrounding stainless steel scrap in overseas countries are still moving to rise further and the fundamentals of price for this scrap are supposed to have been sustained by a firm tone as mentioned above.

Reflecting a revival in production of stainless steel, the price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap to be purchased by stainless steel mills in Pittsburgh of the USA has suddenly risen to a level of US$2,000 per ton (for solid and bundled 18-8 series scrap), which is compared to US$1,750 per ton in December. Also, the price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap in Europe has inclined to rise from the beginning of 2010 and has currently risen to a level of US$1,800 - 1,900 per ton for solid material. The actual price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap in Japan is delaying to have a sharp rise and this scrap to be exported from Japan to China is being still offered on a price level of US$1,780 - 1,800 per metric ton CIF, having indicated a certain difference from those in Europe and the USA.

However, it has become clear that China, as a main market for Japan to export stainless steel scrap, reduced their production of stainless steel by 10 - 15% in October - December quarter of 2009 but has turned to increase the production from January - March quarter of 2010. The business to export stainless steel scrap from Japan to China had been depressed in October - December quarter of 2009 but it will be possible for Japan to sweep off this sluggish mood. Also, the exports of Japanese stainless steel products for China are anticipated to revive.

In order to reduce the excessive stocks of raw materials, major stainless steel companies in China had implemented their cutback of the production by means of giving holidays for maintenance. Also, as the countermeasures for Lunar New Year in China to come in February of 2010, the orders for stainless steel products are increasing and the production of stainless steel in China has turned to a favorable tone. Reflecting this aspect, stainless steel mills in China have become active to purchase raw materials and a symbolical action is to be increasing their purchases of ferro-chrome. Spot price of high carbon ferro-chrome for China was 82 US-Cents per lb. of Cr CIF on the beginning of December of 2009 but has risen to a level of 90 - 92 US-Cents per lb. of Cr CIF at the beginning of 2010. The cargoes of Indian high carbon ferro-chrome have turned to be scarce.

Nickel-contained pig iron (NPI) produced in China is a rival for nickel-based stainless steel scrap and it is marked to see how does this Chinese product move hereafter. Owing to a fall of LME nickel prices in October - December quarter of 2009 (fallen to a level of US$7.34 - 7.74 per lb.), the price of NPI had faced the difficulties to be not payable for its production cost. The cost to produce nickel-contained pig iron in China is estimated to be US$7 - 8 per lb. of Ni and, from this point of view, Chinese producers had suffered from a loss for production of NPI. Some plants, producing NPI in coastal zone, have been driven to suspend this production. In consequence of the aggressive sales of NPI at discounted prices, the negotiations to export nickel-based stainless steel scrap from Japan to China for shipments in October - December quarter had been hit by the wall. For a reference, the strong intention to produce more nickel-contained pig iron in China has deepened and an expansion of the facilities for production of NPI is scheduled to complete in the first half of 2010, causing a factor to put a further impact on the supply.

The economic circumstances in November - December of 2009 had caused to fall domestic price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap in Japan but this situation is thought to have been swept off on the beginning of new year.

The movements of prices for nickel-based stainless steel scrap in Japan during January 2008 to December 2009 were as per the table shown below ;
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last modified : Wed 20 Jan, 2010 [10:58]
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