US Scrap Trends Outlook: December

Our monthly US steel scrap price outlook helps you to make sense of critical indicators impacting price movements, allowing you to forecast scrap prices one month ahead

Will low supply underpin the steel scrap market in December?

A seven-month run of price drops in the North American ferrous scrap market could come to a halt in December, with diminished supply levels expected to offset sluggish demand.

A modestly bullish sentiment pushed the Trend Indicator back into positive territory at 55.2 in December compared with 40.6 for November. The Outlook’s prediction model suggests a potential for ferrous scrap prices to rise by 0.2% on average next month. Learn more in the US Scrap Trends Outlook: December >

What does the market say about steel scrap price movements?

39% of respondents from our market survey of over 2000 participants expect steel scrap prices to increase, while just over one-third forecast the market to trade sideways. Nearly one-quarter of respondents expected a slowdown in generation and collection levels of scrap to be the main driver, while one-third pointed to lower demand. A quarter forecast unchanged market conditions. Learn more in the US Scrap Trends Outlook: December >

The overall trend consensus, however, fell to 51% compared with 59% in November, showing that confidence in the market’s direction has decreased.

Forecasts for the market further forward were also positive, with the three-month indicator remaining bullish at 62.3 and the six-month indicator at 66.

Over half of the respondents expected prime scrap to perform the strongest in the near-term, with supplies easing over the next 60 days because stamping plants traditionally run for only three weeks in November and December due to the holidays.

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

What to read next
The US government will impose tariffs on steel and aluminium shipped from Mexico that were made elsewhere, in a bid to curb trans-shipment and excess production, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday July 10, a move widely applauded by the pair of metals industries
Fastmarkets advises that, as of Wednesday July 10, certain monthly North American ferrous scrap assessments had yet to be settled.
Here are the key takeaways from market participants on scrap metal prices, market confidence, inventory and more from our July survey
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has positively affected the automotive sector in the four years since its implementation and automakers are increasingly investing in zero-emission and hybrid vehicles, according to the US Trade Representative (USTR)
Fastmarkets invited feedback from the industry on the pricing methodology for its MB-IRO-0004 pig iron import, cfr Gulf of Mexico, US assessment, via an open consultation process between May 24 and June 24, 2024. This consultation was done as part of our annual methodology review process.
The publication of Fastmarkets’ Turkey steel scrap indices for Thursday June 27 was delayed because of a technical error.