BANGLADESH STEEL SCRAP: Import prices down following fresh US cargo

Prices for deep-sea origin steel scrap imported to Bangladesh fell over the past week after a new sale from the United States closed at lower numbers, market sources told Fastmarkets on Thursday June 25.

A Bangladeshi mill purchased a bulk cargo from the US Pacific Northwest region comprising 13,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $275 per tonne cfr and 24,000 tonnes of shredded at $280 per tonne cfr. The deal came to light on Monday June 22 but was closed late on June 18.

One seller source told Fastmarkets he heard that the same mill is in talks to purchase a further bulk cargo from the US West Coast, and said he would expect a price of $270 per tonne cfr Bangladesh for HMS 1&2 (80:20) if a deal was clinched.

As a result, Fastmarkets’ price assessment for bulk cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), deep-sea origin, import, cfr Bangladesh was $270-275 per tonne on Thursday, down $15 per tonne week on week.

Prices moved down in Bangladesh amid declining activity in the Turkish market, together with rapidly weakening demand in the Bangladeshi finished steel market, sources said.

“Exporters try to keep a $20-per-tonne gap between the Turkish market and the Chittagong market,” the seller source said.

Turkish mills are trying to buy US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) at below $255 per tonne cfr, so sellers would accept prices for HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $275 per tonne cfr Bangladesh, he added.

A South Asian trader said he was bearish on the market outlook for Bangladesh.

“There is a lot of downward pressure. The Indian Subcontinent and Turkey is in radio silence,” he said.

“Vietnam already bought too much scrap so [US West Coast] deep-sea sellers have nowhere to go,” he said.

He added that finished steel sales and prices were being hampered by Bangladesh’s ongoing Covid-19 crisis, thus reducing demand for scrap at mills.

Bangladesh has recorded 119,198 cases of the virus and 3,412 deaths as of June 24, according to the World Health Organization, up from 94,481 cases one week before.

Another major Bangladesh mill is said to be out of the market for deep-sea cargoes given that they have ample scrap inventories and recently dipped into the market to procure Shindachi busheling from Japan and containerized scrap from Australia.

A second South Asian trader was equally bearish on the current market climate.

“The trend is going [down],” he said, adding that he entered a short position on scrap last week in the expectation of lower prices in the short term. He said the lower bulk sales prices, together with more stable containerized scrap prices, showed that there were “panic sales” taking place in the market.

Fastmarkets heard sales at $268-272 per tonne cfr for Australia-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) in containers over the past week, largely flat compared with prices of $270 per tonne cfr last week.

Offers for Japan-origin Shindachi busheling and plate and structural (P&S) were heard at $300 per tonne cfr over the assessment week.

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