Japanese Stainless Scrap Decreased since June 2006

Stainless scrap market price went into reducing phase for SUS 304 since June last year around Osaka. The price kept flat from April. Large dealer said dealers are increasing shipment to makers because dealers’ anxiety is expanding. Japanese stainless makers increased their inventory of stainless scrap due to increased dealers’ shipment and some makers stopped acceptance of it. Nippon Steel and Sumikin Stainless Corporation (NSSC), Japanese biggest stainless steel maker, reduced the purchasing price twice by total 50,000 yen per tonne. Stainless scrap price rose by about 300,000 yen per tonne from the beginning of 2006 when stainless scrap export increased for China which is expanding production capacity and Japanese makers increased purchasing volume with strong demand for stainless steel products. However, many makers left the purchasing price unchanged from May. Consequently, anxiety was spread in the market. Stainless scrap in the market was flow to dealers and to makers. NSSC decreased the purchasing price by 20000 yen per tonne in May24 and by 30,000 yen in May 29. Nickel price in London Metal Exchange, LME, keeps higher zone at US$ 50,995 in Tuesday. Japanese stainless scrap decreased despite of higher nickel price. Dealer source analyzed the supply and demand loosened up.