Rebar rally stabilises Chinese heavy scrap prices

Ferrous scrap prices in eastern China saw two weeks of continuous falls come to a halt as prices stabilised on a rally in rebar values.

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Heavy scrap traded at 2,650-2,750 yuan ($419-435) per tonne on Wednesday August 1, with the spread narrowing upwards from last week’s 2,600-2,750 yuan per tonne.

“The market has come to a bottom, if rebar prices don’t slump further,” a source in steelmaker Shagang’s scrap purchasing department said.

Shagang, the largest scrap consumer and importer in China, announced today that it would keep its rebar prices unchanged at 3,800 yuan per tonne for early August.

Hebei Steel also kept its rebar prices unchanged for early August.

“Although the scrap market started to stabilise this week, a rebound could hardly be seen,” the steel mill source said.

“Demand remains sluggish, especially after the suspension of operations at some electronic arc furnaces. That has outweighed the decrease in domestic scrap supply,” he added.

Baosteel lowered its scrap purchase basis prices by 450 yuan from July to 2,510 yuan per tonne for August.

Few offers of scrap to China were reported this week, as international prices are much higher than Chinese buyers can afford.

Due to lower scrap availability in the US domestic market, prices of US scrap to Turkey increased, with Metal Bulletin’s daily ferrous scrap index gaining 2.6% to $386.84 per tonne cfr Iskenderun on an HMS 1&2 (80:20) basis.

“Chinese steel mills and traders remain on the sidelines of the international scrap market, and few bookings of overseas scrap are expected in August,” a trader in Shanghai said.

Assessment of Japanese heavy scrap stood around $400 cfr China, with no buying interest reported, a second trader in Shanghai said.

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