SOUTH ASIA STEEL SCRAP: Prices continue to rise on shortage, logistics issues

The price of shredded steel scrap imported into India and Pakistan moved up once again on Friday November 13, with material shortage and logistics issues still causing concern, sources told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets calculated the steel scrap, shredded, index, import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India, at $337.41 per tonne on Friday, up from $330.32 per tonne one week earlier.

Offers of shredded material on the market this week ranged from $328 to $340 per tonne, compared with an offer level of $322-335 per tonne last week.

The market was more subdued toward the second half of the week, with many people beginning their Diwali religious celebrations ahead of the weekend and, as a result, little trading was concluded.

No deals were heard on the market this week, but last week deals for shredded material were heard at $325 and $330 per tonne cfr.

It was expected that trading would resume from Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

“The Diwali celebrations start early in the week. Many are already off work, and won’t be back until Tuesday or Wednesday. There is no business now - it’s too quiet,” a seller said.

“People are getting a little afraid of these higher prices. Are they just a flash in the pan? But the increase was needed because there has been an increase on the local market of $40 per tonne over 2-3 weeks,” a trader said.

“Demand has been good, the market is bullish, they want to buy,” he added. “The market is also being supported by the lowest-interest loans for decades on homes and automobiles. But now, with Diwali, there is a pre-festival lull until Wednesday.”

A continuing shortage of available material also contributed to the firmness in prices, in addition to logistical issues relating to a lack of containers and rising freight rates.

“There have been no deals into India but there will be from Wednesday onward,” a second trader said. “A big problem is the freight - rates are up by $200 [per container] and there is nothing available for November. So you can only book into December rates, which are higher.”

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India, was $305-320 per tonne on Friday, up from $300-315 per tonne one week earlier.

Offers of UK-origin HMS made up the bottom end of the range, with Brazil offers in the middle, while a deal for Dubai-origin material was heard at $320 per tonne.

“Buyers are quiet because of the holidays and are probably traveling, but the domestic market is strong,” a second seller said. “Availability of containers is an issue, plus there is no HMS being offered from South Africa or Kuwait.”

Fastmarkets calculated the steel scrap shredded, index, import, cfr Port Qasim, Pakistan, at $341.90 per tonne on November 13, up from $330.73 per tonne on November 6.

While the Indian market focused on Diwali celebrations, with no bookings heard, the Pakistan market booked a handful of cargoes at improving prices.

Several deals were heard for shredded material, which included bookings made at $338 per tonne, $340 per tonne, $342 per tonne for 2,000 tonnes of UK material, and a further deal heard at $343 per tonne cfr.

By Friday, the offer level had reached $345 per tonne.

This compared with last week’s shredded deals heard at $328 per tonne, $330 per tonne and $332 per tonne.

“Prices started at $340 per tonne early this week and increased by $4-5 per tonne. Offers right now are at $345 per tonne,” a market source said.

“We would not be surprised if offers got to $345 per tonne next week,” a trader said. “Material availability is tight and container freight [rates] are exploding.”

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