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.

India
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
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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