DAILY STEEL SCRAP: Mills seek support from finished steel sales before committing to scrap bookings

Turkish steel producers remained quiet in the deep-sea scrap market and instead continued to focus on finished steel, sources told Fastmarkets on Tuesday June 1.

The most recent deep-sea trade was done at the end of last week, when a steel mill in the Marmara region booked a US cargo, comprising HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $503 per tonne and shredded scrap at $513 per tonne cfr.

The US cargo resulted a further decrease in daily scrap prices, as the deal prior to that was done at $515 per tonne cfr for HMS 1&2 (95:5), which equates to about $508 per tonne on HMS 1&2 (80:20) basis.

Market participants said the mills were now seeking even lower prices because the finished steel market had slowed down.

“The scrap import market is quiet this week [and] Turkish steelmakers do not want to buy [more] scrap before selling finished steel to the export market,” a Turkish mill source told Fastmarkets.

“I think the mills will want to pay $490 per tonne cfr [or less] for scrap,” he added.

A trading source said that scrap merchants were no longer in the market either.

“I think the next price level will be somewhere between $495 and $500 per tonne cfr,” the source said.

A second Turkish mill source said that direction of the finished steel market was not clear.

“Domestic rebar prices went down to $700 per tonne ex-works [but] domestic billet prices were recently at that level,” she said.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, exw Turkey was 7,150-7,200 lira ($840-846) per tonne on Thursday May 27, which equates to $712-717 per tonne excluding 18% VAT.

As a result of the fresh bids and assessments collected, the daily scrap indices went down further on Tuesday June 1.

Fastmarkets’ daily index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), North Europe origin, cfr Turkey, was calculated at $497.03 per tonne on Tuesday, down by $3.63 per tonne compared with Friday’s index.

And the corresponding daily index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), US origin, cfr Turkey, was $502.57 per tonne on June 1, down by $2.67 per tonne, putting the premium for US material over European scrap at $5.54 per tonne on June 1, compared with $4.58 per tonne on May 28.

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