Meanwhile, US market participants were still positive about their domestic scrap market, despite news of a lower-priced scrap cargo sold into Turkey late last week.
Turkish steel producers resumed their deep-sea purchases at the end of last week and have booked nine cargoes so far this week, totalling around 325,000 tonnes.
The most recent deals in the Turkish market were heard on Thursday-Friday May 4-5.
Two cargoes were heard on May 5.
A steel mill in the Iskenderun region booked a Baltic Sea cargo, comprising 20,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $275 per tonne, 8,000 tonnes of shredded at $280 per tonne and 2,000 tonnes of bonus at $285 per tonne cfr.
Another steel mill in Izmir booked a Canadian cargo, comprising 20,000 tonnes of shredded, 20,000 tonnes of HMS 1 and 10,000 tonnes of P&S at an average price of $281 per tonne cfr.
Four cargoes were heard on May 4.
A steel producer in the Iskenderun region booked a European cargo, comprising 30,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (75:25), 5,000 tonnes of shredded and 5,000 tonnes of bonus at an average price of $273 per tonne cfr.
Another steel mill in the Marmara region booked a UK cargo, comprising 10,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $270 per tonne cfr and 25,000 tonnes of shredded at $279 per tonne.
A second steel mill in the same region also booked a UK cargo, comprising 25,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $272 per tonne cfr.
A steel mill in the Iskenderun region booked a third UK cargo, comprising 18,000 tonnes of shredded at $277.50 per tonne, 15,000 tonnes of bonus at $282.50 per tonne and 5,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $272.50 per tonne cfr.
However, the mills in the country were expected to slow their purchasing activity in the coming week, with the approach of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and increasing stock levels.
“I think they will buy a few more cargoes as long as demand in the local finished steel market is strong. But it will still be short-lived,” a trading source said.
“It seems they will buy some more cargoes. However, Ramadan is approaching and things will probably slow down,” another trading source added.
“I believe the steel producers will go into wait-and-see mode next week,” a third source added.
News of two lower-priced ferrous scrap cargoes to Turkey from the US East Coast and Gulf Coast did not shake the bullish sentiment of coastal market participants, still positive about the domestic market.
Trading activity to Turkey resumed with two bulk deals reported on April 27 and May 2.
The first US East Coast sale closed at $269 per tonne cfr for HMS 1&2 (80:20), while the second, originating from the Gulf Coast, was done at $267 per tonne cfr for the same grade.
Trader sources speculated that these two cargoes might have been booked around the same time last week, with details of the Gulf Coast bulk sale released to the community later.
Comparing prices for these sales with another Baltic Sea deal – revealed on May 2 at $272 per tonne cfr for HMS 1&2 (80:20) – sources believed that these cargoes were sold below market value.
Meanwhile, US East Coast exporters are trying to lower export yard-buying prices throughout the north-eastern USA to reflect the dip in international ferrous scrap trading prices.
Attempts to lower prices were successful in the Boston region, with market participants indicating that prices for HMS 1 delivered to the docks have fallen by $10 per gross ton since last week.
“They did try to lower prices last week but they found very little support at lower numbers,” a second dealer source said.
Import prices for containerised HMS-grade ferrous scrap in Taiwan have held steady this week, despite rising offers.
Offers have been heard in the range of $238-250 per tonne cfr Taiwan this week, but no deals have been reported at prices this high.
“USA container offers to Taiwan are now up to $250 [per tonne] cfr [for HMS 1&2 (80:20)] but the deal price is lower and volumes are less,” one source said. He had not heard any new deep-sea deals to Asia done this week, he added.
Only limited volumes were delivered to Taiwan this week, a second source said.
The rise in offer prices was mainly driven by the increase in ferrous scrap prices in Turkey.
“Finished steel prices dropped this week, so the scrap price will be squeezed. Plus, the China market has [shown] a big decrease in prices for [such] material, so maybe there will be a decrease [in the scrap price] next week,” a third source said.
The fall in iron ore prices has not given support to scrap prices in Taiwan, according to market sources.
Import prices for shredded scrap were steady this week despite a weakening local market and volatile Turkish import scrap prices.
Metal Bulletin’s index for shredded scrap imports closed at $303.23 per tonne cfr Nhava Sheva on May 5, up by $0.01 per tonne compared with $303.22 per tonne cfr the previous week.
“On the finished side, prices dropped a bit [but] I don’t think there is scope for a downside,” one buyer said.
Market sources were unconvinced that global scrap prices could be on the rise and said that they felt a period of price stability was more likely.
“I can’t see a long-term increase as iron ore and coking coal are falling. China is turning everything on its head,” one seller said.
“It is very quiet, with a very thin volume [of shredded material being traded],” another seller said.
Rising container freight costs have prevented shredded prices from moving down any further, according to the seller. “Due to the freight increase, the reduction [in prices] is something that suppliers don’t want to accept,” he said.
One deal for 45,000 tonnes of shredded scrap made up of containers from Europe, the UK and the USA was sold at $305 per tonne cfr Nhava Sheva, while around 2,000 tonnes of UK-origin material was heard sold at $302-303 per tonne cfr.
Another deal for 1,000 tonnes of material was sealed at $295 per tonne cfr Nhava Sheva, while offers for UK material were heard as high as $305 per tonne cfr.
Maria Tanatar in Dnepr, Lee Allen in London and Mei Ling Toh in New York contributed to this report.
Turkish steel producers resumed their deep-sea purchases in the working week from Monday May 1 to Friday May 5, pushing prices up slightly, while Indian and Taiwanese prices remained comparatively stable.