UK, Europe stainless steel scrap prices rise after Russian invasion of Ukraine drives up nickel costs
The price of stainless steel scrap in the UK and Europe moved up this week after nickel costs increased in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Thursday morning, sources told Fastmarkets on Friday February 25.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for stainless steel scrap 18/8 solids domestic, delivered merchants UK was £1,700-1,800 ($2,283-2,417) per tonne on Friday, up by £50-60 per tonne week on week from £1,650-1,740 per tonne.
Nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange hit a 10-year high on Thursday on news of the invasion, before retreating again later the same day.
Nickel volatility was reflected in the stainless steel scrap market, with some unconfirmed prices heard outside of the already-wide assessed range above.
“The volatility makes trading [stainless steel scrap] very difficult. When [the price] goes up so quickly you don’t want to commit to large volumes in case it comes down again [just as quick],” a UK trader told Fastmarkets.
Nonetheless, trading was no less active that usual, sources said – although the underlying tightness that has been present since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic still remains a feature.
Grade-316 scrap prices also moved up, with Fastmarkets’ price assessment for stainless steel scrap 316 solids domestic, delivered merchants UK rising to £2,450-2,550 per tonne on Friday, up by £50-110 per tonne from £2,400-2,440 per tonne a week earlier.
The European stainless steel scrap market was equally buoyant this week.
Fastmarkets’ weekly assessment for stainless steel scrap 18/8 solids import, cif main European port was €2,120-2,160 ($2,376-2,421) per tonne on Friday, up by €50 per tonne from €2,070-2,110 per tonne.