VIETNAM STEEL SCRAP: Buyers turn to deep-sea cargoes amid Japan shortage

Vietnamese buyers have been seeking bulk deep-sea ferrous scrap to make up for a lack of supply from Japan, market sources told Fastmarkets.

There was a confirmed transaction at $442 per tonne cfr Vietnam on a shredded basis for 32,000 tonnes of United States-origin scrap, mostly made up of shredded scrap.

This is equivalent to a price of $437 per tonne cfr Vietnam for heavy melting scrap (HMS) 1&2 (80:20) and $447 per tonne cfr Vietnam for plate & structural (P&S) scrap.

A major scrapyard in the US had sold the cargo to a south Vietnamese buyer.

There was heard to be an offer for Europe-origin HMS 1&2 (70:30) at $440 per tonne cfr Vietnam, which is equivalent to $440-445 per tonne cfr Vietnam for HMS 1&2 (80:2) materials.

But not everyone in the market believed this was a real offer.

“I don’t think this is right, because any additional freight to Asia compared with Turkey will be huge,” a trader in Vietnam told Fastmarkets on Friday March 26.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for deep-sea bulk cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), cfr Vietnam was $437 per tonne on Friday, narrowing downward by $1 per tonne from $437-438 per tonne on February 19.

Demand for imported scrap remains stable, especially with Vietnamese billet producers seeing good sales volumes to China.

There have been transactions as high as $590 per tonne fob Vietnam for billet exports. This is equivalent to around $620 per tonne cfr China after including freight costs.

Domestic scrap prices have also increased, with special scrap selling for 9,150 Vietnamese Dong per kg ($396 per tonne), and Type 1 scrap selling for 8,950 Dong per kg. Type 2 scrap is selling for 8,850 Dong per kg, while Type 3 scrap is selling for 8,350 Dong per kg. This is an increase of 150 Dong per kg.

Japanese supply remained limited due to a lack of vessels available to ship mini-bulk cargoes to Vietnam and China.

There were some offers at $435-445 per tonne cfr Vietnam, but there were no confirmed transactions.

“It’s hard to enter into real negotiations now due to the freight situation, both buyers and sellers do not want to confirm deals,” a buyer source in Vietnam said.

Hong Kong-origin H1&H2 (50:50) cargoes were offered at $425 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment of steel scrap H2, Japan-origin import, cfr Vietnam was $435-445 per tonne on Friday, up by $10-15 per tonne from $425-430 per tonne on March 19.

Transactions were concluded at $395 and $396 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week for US-origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) cargoes.

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