TAIWAN STEEL SCRAP: Muted trading on large buy-sell gap

The large buy-sell gap in the key Taiwanese import market for containerized ferrous scrap led to muted trading over the past week.

Fastmarkets’ daily price assessment for containerized cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), US material import, cfr main port Taiwan was $280 per tonne on Friday September 11, up $5 per tonne from Thursday and by $7-10 from $270-273 per tonne cfr Taiwan on September 4.

Containerized cargoes of heavy melting scrap 1&2 (80:20) from the United States West Coast were initially offered at $280 per tonne cfr Taiwan in the first half of the week before the result of the Kanto Tetsugen auction in Japan was released on Wednesday September 9.

Sellers later withheld offers for containerized cargoes from the US West Coast on expectations of further price increases, keeping a keen eye on the key Turkish import market, which exceed $300 per tonne cfr this week.

Offers increased to $285 per tonne cfr Taiwan by Thursday and Friday, although they remained limited.

“There are [fewer] offers this week because sellers are hoping to sell [at higher prices] soon,” a Taiwanese trader told Fastmarkets on Thursday.

Buyers have been only gradually increasing their bids for imported cargoes because they felt the initial offers were too high and not economical for steel production.

“Domestic scrap supply flows have improved recently and we are able to get more scrap instead of relying on more expensive imports,” a source at a Taiwanese steel mill said.

Bids were at $270-275 per tonne cfr Taiwan at the start of the week, before slowly increasing to $280 per tonne cfr Taiwan because buyers were also fearful of a downward correction in spot prices.

“Many buyers remain very cautious and do not want to over commit to expensive cargoes,” a source at a second mill in Taiwan told Fastmarkets.

Sellers of bulk cargoes of Japanese H1&H2 (50:50) scrap also increased their offers after the Kanto Tetsugen auction.

A transaction for H1&H2 (50:50) scrap was concluded at $295 per tonne cfr Taiwan on the Tuesday before the auction, but offers increased to $307-310 per tonne cfr Taiwan even the auction.

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