US ferrous scrap export mart quiet; further price drops feared

No new ferrous scrap export sales from the US East Coast to Turkey have been reported since prices fell sharply in a cargo booked in mid-May, but more price drops could be on the horizon, Fastmarkets understands

US ferrous scrap export prices declined by $35-123 per tonne in the latest sale, which was heard on May 19 and reportedly concluded at the beginning of last week. In that deal, an East Coast exporter sold 12,000 tonnes of an 80:20 mix of No1 and No2 heavy melting scrap priced at $460 per tonne cfr, and 16,000 tonnes of shredded scrap and 2,000 tonnes of bonus-grade material priced at $475 per tonne cfr.

A European cargo containing HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $455 per tonne was heard sold to Turkey late on Monday May 23. That price would equate to $460 per tonne for US material, given the $5-per-tonne premium US-origin scrap typically commands, indicating Turkish scrap import prices have begun to stabilize.

Lower dock prices and a bearish outlook for the domestic ferrous scrap trade next month suggest that export prices could have further to fall, however. Export yards in Philadelphia and New York slashed prices by $20 per gross ton over the past week, and prices for shredded and heavy melting scrap could fall by as much as $50-70 per gross ton in the domestic trade next month, according to market sources.

Fastmarkets calculated the export yard buying prices for No1 heavy melt, delivered to yard New York and No1 heavy melt, delivered to yard Philadelphia at $325 per gross ton on May 23, both down 5.80% from $345 per gross ton on May 16. The export yard buying price for No1 heavy melt, delivered to yard Boston was also $325 per gross ton on May 23, unchanged week on week.

Based on the last reported US export sale, Fastmarkets calculated the steel scrap HMS 1&2 (80:20), export index, fob New York at $395 per tonne on Wednesday May 25, down 7.06% from $425 per tonne on May 18. Fastmarkets calculated the steel scrap shredded scrap, export index, fob New York at $410 per tonne on May 25, down a comparable 7.87% week on week from $445 per tonne on May 18.

No West Coast ferrous scrap export deals have been heard since a slew of sales were booked to Bangladesh at lowered prices in early May.

As a result, Fastmarkets’ steel scrap HMS 1&2 (80:20), export index, fob Los Angeles was again unchanged at $480 per tonne on May 25, flat since May 11.

Fastmarkets assessed the steel scrap No1 heavy melt, export yard buying price, delivered to yard Los Angeles at $250 per gross ton on May 23, down by 10.71% from $280 per gross ton on May 16.

Electricity rationing in Taiwan and weak demand for Vietnamese finished steel are likely weighing on demand for deep-sea scrap exports from the US West Coast.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel scrap HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix) US material import, cfr main port Taiwan widened up to $430-440 per tonne on May 25 from $430-435 the prior day, the first increase since May 18.

Fastmarkets assessed the price for steel scrap HMS 1&2 (80:20), cfr Vietnam at $490-500 per tonne on May 20, down from $500-510 on May 13 and the seventh straight week of falling prices.

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