European scrap prices start to follow rises in global markets

Prices for ferrous scrap have been rising across Europe in the second half of this month, following the trends seen in the international markets, sources have told Metal Bulletin.

EU mills are expected to settle their monthly scrap contracts in the middle of March with an increase of about €10-20 ($11-21) per tonne compared with the prices in February.

Metal Bulletin’s daily index for Northern Europe-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) steel scrap exported to Turkey has increased by 24.14% since the beginning of February, to $278.61 per tonne cfr Turkish ports on February 27.

“Turkish price movements have a direct influence on the situation in Europe. The mills first dropped [their] prices in February and now the prices will rise back to the level of December deals,” a trader said.

Monthly contracts for ferrous scrap in Italy were settled with a decrease of €15-30 ($16-32) per tonne, following the decline of prices in January. Metal Bulletin’s daily index for Northern Europe-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) steel scrap exported to Turkey decreased by 16.88% in January.

Metal Bulletin’s monthly price assessment for domestic grade-E3 scrap in Italy was €210-230 ($222-243) per tonne delivered in February. The grade-E8 monthly scrap price assessment for the country was €220-245 ($233-259) per tonne delivered in February.

In the second half of February, however, the mills have already increased their prices for spot deals following the rise in the international markets.

“The mills had to increase prices to get scrap, and they will have to do it again if the situation in Turkey does not change,” a second source said.

Italian domestic scrap prices have already increased to €230-240 ($243-254) per tonne delivered for E3-grade and to €250-260 ($264-275) per tonne delivered for E8-grade, according to market sources.

The situation is the same in the German scrap market. Prices dropped by €20-30 ($21-32) per tonne month-on-month in February.

Metal Bulletin’s monthly price assessment for domestic grade-E3 scrap in Germany was €205-230 ($217-243) per tonne delivered in February. The assessment for grade-E40 shredded scrap was €220-240 ($233-254) per tonne delivered and for grade-E8 scrap it was €215-230 ($227-243) per tonne delivered.

“The mills will push prices up if they want to get sufficient amounts of scrap [in March]. The new price rise will offset the decrease in February,” a German trader said.

Ferrous scrap prices are likely to increase across the EU in March, according to market sources.

“The situation is pretty much similar in all the countries [in the region]. Spanish [mills] will also increase prices by at least €10-15 [$11-16] per tonne in March,” a fourth trader said.

“In Poland, scrap prices have increased by €15 [$16] per tonne, and we have to pay higher prices,” a representative from a Polish mill said.

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