The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a shortage of ferrous scrap in many key supply locations, provoking a 21% rise in international scrap prices in just 12 days from April 3 to April 15. But despite this, domestic prices in many areas were settled lower in April’s monthly negotiations.

The Italian steel industry is preparing for a gradual restart from May 4, following a government announcement over the past weekend about the country’s emergence from lockdown, Fastmarkets heard on April 27.

More provincial governments in China are offering incentives to companies to purchase base metal products, in a highly unusual move to avoid inventory piling up at a time of demand uncertainty, Fastmarkets understands from official documents and industry sources.

Cobalt sulfate prices have managed to take a pause from the persistent downturn since mid-February despite lingering weak demand from electric vehicles (EVs), the major downstream consumer, Fastmarkets understands.

Ferro-vanadium prices in Europe held up at higher levels last week on an active spot market and tightening prompt availability.