But this downward trend was not seen in the containerized scrap import market. Taiwanese scrap import prices remained flat on sparse trading this week, while the prices of containerized shredded scrap imports into India corrected upward.
Turkish scrap import prices showed a short-lived increase but prices slipped in midweek trades. Seven deep-sea cargoes for May delivery were booked to Turkey this week.
Two bulk deals that traded late the previous week were reported by Metal Bulletin on April 16.
A steel mill in the Iskenderun region booked a European cargo, comprising 12,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (75:25) at $342 per tonne and 12,000 tonnes of bonus at $362 per tonne cfr.
Another steel mill in the Marmara region also booked a European cargo, comprising 12,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (75:25), 8,000 tonnes of shredded, 15,000 tonnes of plate and structural scrap (P&S) and 5,000 tonnes of busheling, at an average price of $355.50 per tonne cfr.
A Baltic Sea cargo of HMS 1&2 (80:20) was also sold on April 16 at $356 per tonne cfr but the information on this deal did not surface until two days later.
The next day, a steel producer in the Iskenderun region booked a Baltic Sea cargo, comprising 13,000-17,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $356 per tonne and 7,000-8,000 tonnes of shredded at $361 per tonne cfr.
Three deep-sea cargoes were traded from the US, Europe and the Baltic Sea to Turkey on April 18.
One steel producer booked a US cargo, comprising 15,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $355 per tonne and 15,000 tonnes of shredded at $360 per tonne cfr, late on April 17. The cargo was scheduled to be shipped in the second half of May.
Following news of this US deal, Baltic Sea scrap prices were expected to go fall, which was what happened on Wednesday.
In the second deal, a steel mill in the Iskenderun region booked a 30,000-tonne Baltic Sea cargo, comprising a minimum 1,000 tonnes of rail at $360 per tonne, and a minimum 5,000 tonnes of bonus grade at $355 per tonne, with the remainder being HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $345 per tonne cfr.
The third deal, reported on April 19, was done by a steel producer in the Iskenderun region, which booked a European cargo of 30,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $348 per tonne cfr. Sources said that this cargo transacted before the above Baltic Sea trade.
“Prices are not going up. The European cargo was sold before the Baltic Sea deal. I think the prices will remain at $345-350 per tonne cfr levels for HMS 1&2 (80:20),” a Turkish source said.
Turkish steelmakers went quiet in the deep-sea market on April 19 and 20 following news of an early election decision by the Turkish government, which surprised market participants. But mills are expected to resume their May bookings soon.
Prices for ferrous scrap exports from the US were mixed this week, with those for bulk exports falling in two fresh sales from the East Coast to Mexico and Turkey, while the price of containerized HMS on the West Coast inched upward due to rebounding demand from Asia.
Turkey returned to the US ferrous scrap export market on April 18 after being absent for weeks, booking a cargo containing 15,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $355 per tonne cfr and 15,000 tonnes of shredded scrap at $360 per tonne cfr for delivery in late May.
A second cargo containing HMS 1&2 (80:20) traded off the East Coast to Mexico at $345 per tonne fob. The exact composition of this cargo was unknown on April 18.
On an fob basis, prices in the Turkish and Mexican deals for HMS 1&2 (80:20) represent declines of $25 per tonne and $8 per tonne respectively from a sale to Egypt on March 28 at $353 per tonne fob.
An export source believed that further downside for bulk export prices was unlikely. “I think we have reached the bottom price-wise – the last couple of sales [to Turkey] proved that,” this source said.
Since US East Coast exporters pre-emptively reduced buying prices at most docks last week, there were no further declines in export yard buying prices this week.
Meanwhile, the US West Coast bulk export market remained stagnant, with no cargoes transacted, while buyers and sellers struggled to find common ground in price negotiations.
Asian buyers were in the market seeking cargoes at $380 per tonne cfr but failed to win traction with US exporters, who were holding firm at $400 per tonne cfr for available cargoes, sources said.
The firm pricing was not surprising since export sources on the West Coast expected scrap export prices to rebound. Prices for containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) would be the first to bounce back, with rebar demand improving in Taiwan.
Prices for containerized shredded scrap imports into India edged up this week, with the market seeking a correction following a series of recent falls, market sources told Metal Bulletin.
Metal Bulletin’s weekly index for containerized imports of shredded scrap into India was $385.44 per tonne cfr Nhava Sheva on April 20, up by $4.17 per tonne week-on-week, compared with $381.27 per tonne cfr last week.
This week’s upward movement brings the price for containerized imports of shredded scrap into India back on par with the $385 per tonne assessment seen on April 6.
Shredded scrap was offered at $375-390 per tonne cfr Nhava Sheva throughout the week, with a deal heard for 500 tonnes of UK-origin material at $388 per tonne cfr.
One trader said that some buyers were not willing to pay the current price and that it needed to fall further to increase market activity.
“People who want to buy Indian material are not prepared to pay $385 per tonne. There is a lag of $10-15 per tonne, and the market will be corrected soon,” he said. “Buyers will be interested at $375 per tonne.”
Meanwhile, Metal Bulletin’s price assessment for imports of HMS 1&2 (80:20) was $340-370 per tonne cfr Nhava Sheva on Friday, unchanged week-on-week with buyers stepping back from the market.
Material was on offer at prices higher than $370 per tonne, at $372 and $375 per tonne, but no deals were done at prices that high.
South Africa-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) material was available for $360-362 per tonne cfr.
The market was quiet this week, with very few deals heard. Many market participants said that they were hoping to start buying again next week, when activity picks up.
Taiwanese scrap import prices remained stable, with little trading activity because US suppliers were attending a major recycling conference.
Metal Bulletin’s assessment of import prices for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) sold into Taiwan was $330-335 per tonne cfr for the week ended April 20, unchanged from a week earlier.
US-origin scrap was offered at $335-340 per tonne cfr Taiwan this week, unchanged from the preceding week. But buyers continued to submit bids at $330 per tonne cfr Taiwan.
There were more offers for Japan-origin HMS 1&2 scrap heard in the market, with traders looking to fill the supply gap in the absence of supplies of US material. Japanese scrap was heard offered at $345-350 per tonne cfr Taiwan.
A slight uptick in prices could emerge in the next few weeks, market sources said, although they added that this would depend on sentiment at the US conference.
Turkish shipbreaking scrap prices inched upward alongside import scrap prices, while prices for auto bundle scrap remained steady during the week ended April 16.
Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for melting scrap from shipbreaking in the Turkish domestic market was $341-352 per tonne delivered, widening upward from the previous week’s $341-350 per tonne.
Meanwhile, domestic auto bundle scrap prices remained stable over the week, despite a number of mills changing their buy prices.
Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for domestic auto bundle (DKP grade) scrap in Turkey was TRY1,270-1,500 ($311-367) per tonne delivered, unchanged week-on-week.
Cem Turken in Mugla, Carrie Bone in London and Paul Lim in Singapore contributed to this report.
Ferrous scrap prices in the bulk sector dipped during the working week ended Friday April 20 due to downward pressure from Turkish import prices, which fell midweek in several trades for material from the United States and the Baltic Sea.