SOUTH ASIA STEEL SCRAP: Mills shy away from imports
Prices for shredded steel scrap imported into India and Pakistan were largely unchanged over the week to Friday March 5 on lackluster interest among mills, sources have told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets calculated its steel scrap, shredded, index, import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India, at $460.86 per tonne on Friday, only slightly up from $459.75 per tonne one week earlier.
A deal was heard at $455 per tonne this week, while offers went as high as $470 per tonne, compared with offers of $470-480 per tonne the week before.
A deal was also heard at $478 per tonne this week but this could not be confirmed by any other market participants.
Trading activity on the Indian market remained subdued this week, with many buyers showing little interest in offers and instead opting for domestic scrap or other materials to meet their requirements.
“The import market is very quiet. The prices are much higher than domestic scrap or [direct-reduced iron]. The mills are not interested,” a seller said.
“There are no trades happening,” a buyer said. “It’s not just the price, but delays in shipments and uncertainty. These kind of delays create opportunities to look at other markets, and look domestically to replace imported scrap.”
One mill source said that Indian prices were not workable because Pakistan was again giving higher prices, while another market participant said that the Indian market was in “wait and watch” mode.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India, was $400-420 per tonne on Friday, up from $390-410 per tonne one week before.
Offers were heard for UK material at $400 per tonne, while material from the United Arab Emirates was heard at $420 per tonne cfr.
Material supplies remained tight, with South African offers still restricted, while UK domestic supply continued to be limited by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“These prices are not workable. I could not sell. Mills will either buy, or there will be a drop in price,” a trader said.
Another trader told Fastmarkets on March 5 that the current tightness in freight availability would not be resolved until June, and that another freight increase of $300 per container could be imminent.
On the Pakistan market, scrap prices were largely unchanged this week because sellers were unsuccessful in increasing prices, despite an uptrend in finished steel prices.
This week mills increased their rebar prices by 2,000-2,500 Pakistan rupees ($13-16) per tonne.
Fastmarkets calculated its weekly steel scrap, shredded, index, import, cfr Port Qasim, Pakistan, at $468.27 per tonne on Friday, down by less than $1 per tonne from $469.17 per tonne one week earlier.
Deals were heard at $465, $470 and $472 per tonne this week, while offers were reported as high as $480 per tonne, on a par with last week’s offer level.
“Customers have hesitated to accept such prices, and yards have been asking higher numbers based on the latest Turkish numbers. [Mills] are resisting and holding onto this $465 per tonne level,” a trader said.
Fastmarkets’ daily index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix) North Europe origin, cfr Turkey, was $453.38 per tonne on March 5, up by $1.21 per tonne from $452.17 per tonne one week earlier.
“Pakistan is showing resistance against offers above $465 per tonne,” a seller said.