The price in Japan for nickel-alloyed stainless steel scraps (new clippings) delivered during March is forecast to be unaffected by the recent drop in LME's nickel prices. The LME prices sharply dropped so far by US$1,635/ton from the beginning of February reportedly due to the uncertainty of China's future demand for nickel and to the slowdown in economy in Europe. However, market sources in Japan view the nickel price drop as affecting the scrap price only a little.|
The reason is that the market in Japan for the scraps has been firm enough to stay unaffected and will rather become firmer in March. The price with the SUS mills for the scraps delivered in February started at Yen135,000 - 140,000/ton (on delivered to the mill's yard basis) and became Yen145,000 - 150,000/ton mid-February. The sources say that the upward trend will continue through to March.
In addition, weaker yen has been supporting the upward trend. Current export prices for "Sabot" (solid 18-8 SUS scraps) are US$1,650 - 1,700/ton CIF China, which is equivalent to Yen159,000 - 160,000/ton at the exchange rate of Yen94.0/US$ of February 25. This means exporters can indicate fairly higher prices than the prices of the mills, i.e. more or less Yen153,000/ton delivered to the exporter's yard.