SOUTH ASIA STEEL SCRAP: Price rises continue on tight supply, freight restraints

The price of shredded steel scrap imported into India and Pakistan moved up on Friday November 27, due to continuing logistic issues and a rising international market, sources have told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets calculated the steel scrap, shredded, index, import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India, at $365.18 per tonne on Friday, up from $355.76 per tonne one week earlier.

Just one deal was reported this week, for shredded material at $365 per tonne, while offers were in the range of $360-375 per tonne cfr.

This was up from a deal level of $350-360 per tonne last week.

Prices have continued to move upward this week because material supply has remained tight, in addition to the logistics problems created by a lack of available containers and rising container freight costs.

“There are not many offers for India because pricing is not in line with international levels,” a seller said. “Turkey is very active, as are Pakistan and Bangladesh. It’s difficult for India to secure raw material, but local scrap and [DRI] are available. The freight [rates] and availability are killing the market.”

These factors have come at a time when there was a steady rise in the international scrap market.

Fastmarkets calculated the index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), North Europe origin, cfr Turkey, at $347.14 per tonne on November 27, up from $330.60 per tonne on November 20.

“The market has become crazy. It’s going up and up. Maybe there will be some buyers from Monday,” a second seller said.

“Offers [for] shredded [were at] $375 per tonne because Pakistan and Bangladesh are giving these rates. Indian local scrap is cheaper today, which is why [these prices] are not workable - there are no bookings at this level,” a buyer said.

The weekly price assessment for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India, was $330-345 per tonne on Friday, unchanged week on week.

No deals were heard for such material this week, but offers of HMS from all origins remained unchanged, with UK-origin HMS making up the bottom end of the range, and Australia- and UAE-origin material at the top end.

“The Indian market is holding [steady] because Indian domestic prices have started to fall due to a surge in Covid-19 cases,” a mill source said. “Finished steel prices have started falling, and there’s a surge in freight [costs]. After the start of the festive season two weeks ago, there was a surge in demand, which tends to go away and then dip. December and January are important months.”

Fastmarkets calculated the steel scrap shredded, index, import, cfr Port Qasim, Pakistan, at $367.43 per tonne on November 27, up from $355.30 per tonne on November 20.

Deals for shredded material were heard this week at $365-370 per tonne cfr, up from $350-362 per tonne last week, although offers were reported as high as $375 per tonne.

“Pakistan can pay up to $370 per tonne for shredded. They have a lot of infrastructure projects tied to the Chinese,” a trader said.

“There have been hardly any quantities available in the market through various traders. Customers seem to have no option other than to accept the higher price, which is not backed by a proportionate increase in finished sales prices,” a market source said.

“Some customers are opting to wait and watch until the market goes flat,” he added, “while some customers are opting to keep buying at the price available to ensure that their inventories are not disturbed.”

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