Key Asia bulk import steel scrap markets record sharp rise amid pre-Eid buying

A raft of bookings for steel scrap in both Turkey and Pakistan this week ahead of the Islamic holy festival of Eid al-Adha has led to an acute rise in offer prices to key Asia bulk markets, sources told Fastmarkets

  • Bangladesh importers sit back as offer prices rise
  • India, Vietnam see higher bulk offer prices
  • South Asia containerized scrap prices buoyed by Pakistan buying
  • Taiwanese buyers reluctant to chase higher prices due to limited demand for steel scrap

Bangladesh bulk

US West Coast scrap exporters have reacted quickly to rising prices in Turkey from the US East Coast and the Baltic Sea this week by increasing their offer prices into Asia, but sources said many bulk sellers are keen to hold onto material amid this week’s stronger market conditions.

US West Coast-origin bulk cargoes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) were available at $450-480 per tonne cfr Bangladesh in recent days depending on supplier, sources told Fastmarkets.

That represents a sharp rise from last week’s offers of around $380 per tonne cfr Bangladesh from the United States and $400 per tonne cfr from Europe.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), deep-sea origin import, cfr Bangladesh, was $440-450 per tonne on Thursday July 7, up $60-70 per tonne from $380 per tonne from a week earlier.

Vietnam was also heard to be receiving offers for deep-sea HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $425 per tonne cfr on Thursday, up from $400 per tonne cfr earlier in the week. Offers from the US East Coast to Turkey were also heard at $420 per tonne cfr on Thursday, sources said.

Shredded in bulk from the US West Coast was heard offered at $450 per tonne cfr Kandla, India in recent days. The last bulk deal to India was done on June 24 for a Baltic Sea 35,000-tonne bulk deal containing bonus at $366 per tonne cfr for HMS 1&2.

“European exporters are expecting Turkey to come back and pick up more cargoes and US exporters are wanting to get a few more dollars for their cargoes before they [sell to Asia],” a scrap exporter source said.

But buyers were showing no interest in booking bulk cargoes in Bangladesh with the Eid al-Adha holiday to take place in the Islamic nation on July 9-13, and with scrap inventories high at mills after several recent bulk bookings.

“We are sitting back and observing the market. Turkey bought a lot of scrap and after that, they will go to sleep - after Eid, the market will go down,” a Bangladeshi mill source told Fastmarkets.

“There are other negative factors in Bangladesh such as the rainy season, which means demand for finished products is very low,” he added.

“Market participants are going home for 8-9 days over Eid and also all shops and construction activity will stop over this period,” a second exporter source said.

Bangladesh container

The Bangladeshi container market has been disrupted by higher prices paid by the fellow South Asia market of Pakistan, sources said.

Pakistani buyers rushed in to book around 15,000 tonnes of shredded scrap in containers at $475-490 per tonne cfr Port Qasim in the last few days ahead of the Eid holidays, according to the second exporter.

Shredded container offers to Pakistan rose to $500 per tonne cfr, meaning offers to Bangladesh would be around $520 per tonne, sources told Fastmarkets, with prices being further affected by low shredded supply.

A United Kingdom-based trading source told Fastmarkets that local ship plate scrap prices would work out at around 45,000 taka ($472) per tonne in Bangladesh, putting a lid on workable import shredded prices.

A deal for containers of HMS 1&2 (80:20) was heard at $460-465 per tonne cfr Bangladesh this week, while offers were heard as low as $440 per tonne cfr earlier in the week.

HMS 1 from Brazil was heard offered at $475 per tonne cfr Bangladesh, while HMS 1 from South Africa and Poland was heard offered at $480 per tonne cfr.

Taiwan

Some sellers in the US for containerized ferrous scrap were heard raising offers to Taiwan slightly, but buyers were holding back from bidding any higher than $360 per tonne cfr Taiwan, sources told Fastmarkets on Thursday.

There were transactions for such material concluded at $360 per tonne cfr Taiwan on Thursday, sources said.

Fastmarkets’ daily price assessment for containerized steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), US material import, cfr main port Taiwan, was $360 per tonne on Thursday, unchanged since June 24.

Offers of US-origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) were heard at $360-380 per tonne cfr Taiwan on Thursday. Bids remained at $360 per tonne cfr Taiwan, according to market sources.

“The main reason for Taiwanese buyers’ lack of interest for scrap is slow rebar sales. And the general market sentiment for steel scrap in Asia remained weak. We are seeing a similar situation in Vietnam, for example. Their scrap demand is naturally low during rainy season, and mills in Vietnam still have high inventories of rebar,” a mill source in Taiwan told Fastmarkets.

Offers for bulk Japanese H1&H2 (50:50) scrap were heard at $385-405 per tonne cfr Taiwan on Thursday, but they were too expensive for buyers in Taiwan, according to sources.

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