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Nordic Countries

While insignificant by comparison, the conflict in Ukraine has brought challenges for non-ferrous traders in Scandinavia. LME prices are behaving like an out-of-control roller-coaster and those engaged in the physical markets are trying to handle a situation in which one extreme market incident is followed immediately by another. Prices change by the minute and there is no guarantee that a workable sales channel today will still be available tomorrow. At the same time, energy costs have been increasing since the conflict began and pushing up prices of scrap.

Although the market is volatile, demand for non-ferrous metals remains quite strong and clearly exceeds supply in most cases.

In the stainless steel market, many suppliers have pricing models based on LME nickel. Since trading was suspended, market players have been trying to do business on a deal-by-deal basis and suppliers have had to accept that these traditional pricing models are not in force.

Competition to buy cables and motors remains extreme, and these materials appear to be a focus for market speculation. Poland is an important outlet for cables coming from Scandinavia but this situation is not so clear at present.

The brass markets are still functioning but buyers are not following LME fluctuations. The aluminium markets have become a little quieter lately; lack of primary aluminium supply from some markets has forced scrap prices upwards.