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WEEKLY SCRAP WRAP: Most hubs continue seeing lower prices

Friday, 13 August 2021

Turkish deepsea import ferrous scrap prices softened over the week to Aug. 13, as Turkish mills held back in search of lower workable levels.

S&P Global Platts assessed Turkish imports of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 80:20 Aug. 13 at $455/mt CFR, down $7.50/mt on week.

Market sources cited ample cargo availability from European and Baltic recyclers, but US suppliers were heard to hold back, citing alternative demand for higher grade material, like shredded scrap.

Turkish mills were heard to bid $450-$453/mt CFR for Baltic-origin HMS 1/2 80:20, but sellers were heard to resist around $460/mt CFR. Mills are expected to still require around 15 further September shipment cargoes.

However, with domestic and export rebar prices softening, Turkish mills will look to push import scrap prices lower over the week started Aug. 16.

The wide spread between prices for primes and shred grades remained a hot topic in the US marketplace. At $167.50/lt on Midwest delivered basis, it was the widest level since just prior to the 2008 recession.

Multiple market sources expected that spread to narrow down in September trading with improving availability of primes grades and competitively priced pig iron imports. Still, some market sources thought that wide spread would sustain as US sheet mills would continue charging a notable amount of primes grades in their mix to cut down their lead times and take advantage of strong end-products markets.

Japanese light scrap export prices extended losses in the week to Aug. 11 amid lower priced deals and offers to the region. Earlier in the assessment week, more than 10,000 mt of H2 material were heard sold to South Korea at Yen 45,500/mt FOB Japan basis Aug. 6, a day after a 5,000 mt lot of H1:H2 50:50 cargo sold to Taiwan at $460/mt CFR. Offers to Vietnam too were down to $470-$485/mt CFR for H2 material, from $480-$486/mt a week ago, with buyers and traders still inactive due the worsening coronavirus pandemic in the country.

China’s import market for HRS101 grades saw prices slipping yet again into its third consecutive week, following lower priced deals to regional buyers. South Korean buyers for similar grade materials were heard concluding deals on an FOB Japan basis at $540/mt Aug. 11, which followed a $530/mt FOB lot that was heard concluded on Aug. 6. The $540/mt FOB deal if normalized for freight would equate to an CFR eastern China level of $580/mt Aug. 13, according to Platts calculations.

Meanwhile, similar lackluster sentiments against imports persisted in China, with buyers noting that the slump in iron ore prices was dampening any potential interest in seaborne recycled steel. Indicative bids from Chinese mills and traders were also rangebound on the week, at around $540/mt CFR northern China levels.

In the containerized markets, the CFR Taiwan index saw prices edging up within the week to Aug. 13, though with sources citing relative sideways pricing week on week, adding that the container freight market might be affected if China saw to port closures following its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Offers to Taiwan were mainly rangebound week on week at around $440/mt CFR for US-origin HMS 1/2 80:20 material, and deals were holding relatively sideways with a slight increase at $435-$438/mt, up from its previous $435/mt level.

Indian shredded scrap import prices moved up on week, as buying interest in the region returned, sources said. Platts assessed Indian imports of shredded scrap at $524/mt CFR Nhava Sheva Aug. 13, up $4/mt on week.

The neighboring Pakistan market, where prices are generally higher than Nhava Sheva, saw workable levels cited at $530-$538/mt CFR Port Qasim Aug. 13, as demand recovered towards the end of the week from a low of $520-$525/mt CFR midweek.

Elsewhere, August ferrous scrap prices in Northern Europe softened on month from record July highs, as the summer slowdown and weaker international market caused mills to push for lower prices, market participants said.

In Northern Europe, Platts’ August assessment for domestic shredded scrap was at Eur440/mt delivered, down Eur12.50/mt on month.

In Italy, prices remained firmly above the Northern European market, with E40 shredded scrap heard at Eur480-Eur510/mt delivered to the mill in Italy.

Platts’ assessment for Southern European shredded scrap was at Eur480/mt delivered for August contracts, up Eur10/mt from July. Italian scrap recyclers had achieved shredded scrap prices as high as Eur520/mt delivered in July, following the Platts assessment last month on July 10.

August monthly contracts in the UK domestic scrap market softened on month across the grades as weaker international demand dampened domestic pricing, sources said.

Platts' assessment of 3B shredded scrap was GBP 310/mt delivered to the mill on Aug. 13, down on month from GBP 327.50/mt delivered in July.

-- Staff

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