SOUTH ASIA STEEL SCRAP: India, Pakistan prices diverge on differing demand

The price of shredded steel scrap into Pakistan and India diverged on Friday August 13 with Pakistan reporting restocking behaviour while demand in India remained low, sources told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets calculated its weekly steel scrap, shredded, index, import, cfr Port Qasim, Pakistan at $532.37 per tonne on Friday, up from $530.64 per tonne one week earlier.

Deal prices increased during the working week, with deals heard at $520 per tonne, $530 per tonne, $533 per tonne, $534 per tonne and then $535 per tonne by the end of the week.

Offers reached $538 per tonne at the end of the week. This compares to deals and offers heard at $525-530 per tonne the previous week, which had come down from $540-545 per tonne at the start of that trading week.

Market participants likened the ever-changing conditions to a roller coaster.

Sources linked the flurry of trading to a shortage of shredded material and low customer stocks.

“The market is very confusing, it’s a rollercoaster. Yesterday there was a lot of buying interest, linked to the availability of shred material,” a trader said.

“Activity in Pakistan for scrap procurement has increased in the last two days… and offers have gone up. Customers’ scrap stock positions are very bad, and they are all back together to re-stock. Shredded seems to be comparatively short in [the] market and everyone is after it,” a second trader said.

Prices heard for HMS 1 and HMS 1&2 (90:10) imported into Pakistan from the Middle East and United Arab Emirates ranged from $500-510 per tonne in the reported week.

Prices for shredded scrap imported into India continued to trend downward during the week because monsoon season in the country kept demand subdued.

Fastmarkets’ calculation of the steel scrap shredded, index, import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India was $521.22 per tonne on Friday, down from $522.92 per tonne on Tuesday August 10 and from $523.67 per tonne a week ago.

One deal was heard during the week at $519 per tonne while offers were $520-525 per tonne on Friday.

“On the domestic market, there is sponge iron pricing firmness reflected in certain regions which are dependent on scrap,” a mill source said.

One market source said that trading would remain slow until the end of the month due to the ongoing monsoon season.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India was $440-460 per tonne on Friday, unchanged week on week.

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