• Bangladesh books small tonnage in containers
  • China import market activity thin ahead of holiday
  • Prices in Taiwan weaken after restocking ends
Steelmakers in Bangladesh booked a handful of deals for containers of heavy melting scrap (HMS) in the last week at $492-500 per tonne cfr, but overall scrap demand is patchy due to slow steel markets, sources said.

Containerized UK-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was sold at $495-500 per tonne cfr Bangladesh in the week, while 750 tonnes of Senegal-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) were sold at $492 per tonne cfr. Offers for UK-origin material were heard at $500 per tonne cfr on Thursday with bids at around $490 per tonne.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), containerized, import, cfr Bangladesh was $492-500 per tonne cfr on September 30, widening down by $3 per tonne from $495-500 per tonne cfr one week before.

"The larger Chattogram mills are building up stocks of steel ready for the peak season of demand in January-March, so they're mostly running at full capacity. But the smaller mills in Dhaka are not running as high because they are not confident on the market and their rebar demand is sporadic," a scrap exporter said.

"Local rebar sales are very slow and the big mills are offering discounts [on their steel]," a Bangladeshi trader source said.

No bulk deals have been heard to the country since a US deep-sea cargo was sold at $520 per tonne cfr for HMS 1&2 and $525 per tonne cfr for shredded the weekend before last.

Spot prices for steel scrap imported into China remained rangebound on Thursday September 30. Market activity was sparse, with China about to start their week-long National Day holiday from October 1, sources said.

Bids for imported HRS101-grade steel scrap were heard at $525-530 per tonne cfr north China on Thursday. Key market participants maintained their estimates of the prevailing market level for imported scrap in China at $530 per tonne cfr north China.

Strong local demand for scrap from blast furnaces (BF) in Japan continued to support export prices for heavy scrap (HS). High prices being paid for steel scrap in the Japanese local market have made exports of all grades unattractive to suppliers, sources said. Offers for HS from Japan were heard at $600-615 per tonne cfr China on Thursday. 

Fastmarkets’ calculation of the steel scrap, index, heavy recycled steel materials, cfr north China was at $529.69 per tonne on September 30, up by $1.25 per tonne from a day earlier.

For the Chinese domestic market, major steelmakers raised their purchase prices for scrap by 50 yuan ($7.73) per tonne on Monday September 27.

“Restocking needs ahead of the National Day holiday supported local scrap prices. The upward momentum in scrap demand, however, is capped by the recent restrictions on electricity usage,” a Chinese scrap industry analyst told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel scrap heavy scrap, domestic, delivered mill China was 3,690-3,770 yuan per tonne on September 30, up by 50 yuan per tonne from September 24. Disregarding VAT, that puts the China domestic scrap price at $496-507 per tonne.

Prices for imported containerized heavy melting scrap (HMS) 1&2 (80:20) dipped from late Wednesday into Thursday, even after demand eased amid the end of restocking needs.

There were transactions confirmed at $460 per tonne cfr Taiwan on Thursday, with a major Taiwanese steel mill purchasing cargoes at this price.

Buyers are comfortable in wait-and-see mode; they expect prices to drop further. They lowered bids to $460 per tonne cfr Taiwan.

Interest was thin for bulk Japanese H1&H2 (50:50) scrap, which was "being offered at high levels," a buyer source in Taiwan said.