TAIWAN STEEL SCRAP: Spot prices rebound on limited supply from US, Japan

The key containerized ferrous scrap import market of Taiwan continued to witness price gains this week amid tight supply of United States- and Japan-origin materials, sources told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets’ daily price assessment for containerized steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), United States material import, cfr main port Taiwan was $400-405 per tonne on Thursday April 1, unchanged from Wednesday and up by $5 per tonne from $395-400 per tonne on March 26.

Buyers increased their bids to $400 per tonne cfr Taiwan by Tuesday, against offers at $405-410 per tonne cfr Taiwan.

Offers disappeared by Thursday on increasingly bullish sentiment in the spot market, with market sources expecting offers to be raised in the near term.

“Many suppliers in the United States are hesitant to offer materials because they feel that prices will increase in the near term,” a key trader in Taiwan told Fastmarkets.

A major domestic steel mill had raised its offers for domestic rebar by NT$200 ($7) per tonne, but kept their domestic scrap purchase price stable.

“Product prices are increasing not just in Taiwan, but also in Asia. For example, billet prices have been increasing, so sellers are confident that their buyers have to follow their offers higher,” a second Taiwanese trader told Fastmarkets.

US President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan has also supported sentiment among sellers in the US, who are expecting domestic scrap prices to see support in light of stronger demand for steel.

Buyers who were not urgently looking for cargoes or attempting to hold out against rising prices were bidding at $390-400 per tonne cfr Taiwan.

Offers for South and Central American scrap were at $390 per tonne cfr Taiwan.

“Spot prices will be clearer from next week once Taiwan returns from the major Qingming Festival on Tuesday April 6,” a buyer source in Taiwan told Fastmarkets on Thursday.

Offers for Japanese H1&H2 (50:50) were at $440 per tonne cfr Vietnam by Thursday, up by $10 per tonne from $430 per tonne cfr Vietnam in the earlier part of the week. There were limited cargoes in the spot market.

Buyers were looking to purchase cargoes at $415 per tonne cfr Taiwan, although such bids were unlikely to result in any transactions, sellers said.

Major Japanese mini-mill Tokyo Steel has not adjusted its domestic scrap purchase price this week, although fob Japan prices have increased slightly.

Tokyo Steel is presently paying at ¥42,500-43,500 ($384-393) per tonne at Tahara works, ¥42,500 per tonne at Okayama works, ¥43,000 per tonne at Kyushu works, ¥42,000 per tonne at Utsunomiya works and ¥41,500 per tonne at its Takamatsu works.

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