US ferrous scrap export market said set to soar

Turkish mills have been forced to pay $6 per tonne more for United States-origin ferrous scrap with the extreme curtailment of Black Sea billet shipments into global markets acutely intensifying demand for Turkish material, and there are more hefty increases for US ferrous scrap export prices on the horizon, sources told Fastmarkets

A pair of East Coast deep-sea ferrous scrap cargo sales from separate shippers to two different Turkish mills comprising an unspecified amount of an 80:20 mix of No1 and No2 heavy melting scrap priced at $520 per tonne cfr emerged on Tuesday March 1. A further breakout of these deals was unavailable at the time of publication.

This compares with a sale reported on February 25 in which a third East Coast exporter sold a cargo that included HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $514 per tonne cfr and shredded scrap at $534 per tonne cfr to another mill in the region.

And US exporters are only commanding more for their tonnages amid soaring Turkish billet prices due to the ravenous demand brought on by the geopolitical situation in Ukraine. Turkey is a primary importer of Ukraine-origin billet.

Offers for US HMS 1&2 (80:20) sales to Turkey are now being heard at a minimum of $550 per tonne cfr, with some heard as high as $575 per tonne, sources told Fastmarkets on March 1.

“Prices are on fire,” a trading source said, before suggesting that Turkish buyers will most likely jump at any sales from exporters willing to sell their HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $550-555 per tonne.

“Sales will be $550 per tonne before too long,” a second source corroborated.

Initial expectations that US domestic mills will enter the March ferrous scrap trade offering up $40-50 per gross ton across the board versus February is further fueling the fire that the US export market is set to skyrocket. The prime scrap market remains less clear, but some now suggest it could be up by $70-90 per ton during the period.

Turkey’s domestic billet sales on an ex-works basis have now reportedly hit $780-800 per tonne – offers were some $20-40 per tonne lower at around $760 per tonne just one day earlier.

Fastmarkets last assessed the price of steel billet domestic, exw Turkey at $710-715 per tonne on February 24, stable week on week but up by 2.15% at rom $690-705 per tonne on February 10.

Follow how market uncertainty is impacting price movement and trade flows in the ferrous scrap market.

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