SOUTH ASIA STEEL SCRAP: Prices move up despite dull market

The prices of steel scrap imported into India and Pakistan moved up in the week to Friday January 8 despite a dull and uncertain market, sources have told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets calculated the steel scrap, shredded, index, import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India, at $479.33 per tonne on Friday, up from $458.02 per tonne on December 31.

Offers this week were in the range of $480-485 per tonne, up from $475 per tonne last week. There were offers as low as $465 and as high as $505 per tonne heard but not confirmed by other market participants.

One deal this week was heard for $470 per tonne, on a par with last week’s deal level.

“Sentiment is pushing prices up but suppliers are not back [yet from their year-end holidays]. Suppliers are holding on to material. If India comes back to the market, prices will shoot up,” a trader said.

“We are waiting and watching, and expect to be active next week. There is still a shortage of containers,” a seller said.

“The market is very quiet, [but] we will be booking next week. The secondary market is struggling, with costs running high, and the auto industry was shut down for 10-15 days, so demand was a bit lower,” a buyer said.

“Prices are holding on, but there is no upward momentum. There has been a slowdown in demand for a week, but the market will pick up. We are relying on domestic scrap and [direct-reduced iron]. Prices for domestic DRI are on a par with imported shred,” a mill source said. He cited delays in the UK which meant that a cargo purchased in the first week of December had still not arrived.

The weekly price assessment for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India, was $420-430 per tonne on Friday, up from $410-425 per tonne on the previous Thursday.

Offers of UK-origin material were heard at $420 per tonne, while Middle Eastern and Australian material was offered at $430 per tonne.

“The markets are dull. There is no buying because the secondary sector is not supporting [prices],” a market source said.

Pakistan was also quiet in terms of market activity, with low material supply cited.

Fastmarkets calculated the steel scrap shredded, index, import, cfr Port Qasim, Pakistan, at $488.93 per tonne on January 8, up from $462.32 per tonne on December 31.

Offers were reported as high as $500 per tonne this week, up from $475-480 per tonne the previous week.

Transactions were heard at $480 per tonne for UK-origin shredded on Wednesday, in addition to deals at $490-495 per tonne later in the week, up from a deal level of $460-475 per tonne the previous week.

“There are inquiries in the market,” a trader said, “[but] availability is really low.”

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