US Scrap Trends Outlook: February

Low supply, strong demand to spur scrap prices higher in Feb, market says

Participants in the North American ferrous scrap market expect a third straight month of rising prices amid healthy steel mill demand and sluggish inbound flows of material, according to the latest Scrap Trends Outlook.

The bullish sentiment kept the Trend Indicator in positive territory, at 64.5 for February, compared with 70.5 for January. The Outlook’s prediction model suggests a potential for ferrous scrap prices to rise 5.3% on average next month.

More than half of the respondents to the survey expected prices to rise next month, while 35% said that prices would trade sideways.

One-third of the respondents forecast higher demand to drive the market, while a quarter pointed to lower supply.

Steel scrap demand

Demand for material remains robust, with domestic mills replenishing inventories and hot-rolled coil prices starting to move upward. Mills are also having to compete with the nation’s docks in the wake of solid export activity. The US has sold 11 ferrous scrap cargoes to Turkey since the start of January.

The overall trend consensus edged up to 67% compared with 61% for January, showing that confidence in the market’s direction has increased.

Make sense of the US scrap market and track the critical indicators impacting price movements in our February outlook.

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