VIETNAM STEEL SCRAP: Demand for US scrap continues amid high Japanese offers

Vietnamese buyers continued to source American scrap due to its narrow spread over Japanese materials in the week to Friday October 30, although many market participants have been increasingly tight-lipped over market activity.

There was a transaction heard at $315 per tonne cfr Vietnam for a deep-sea cargo from the United States’ West Coast in the early part of the week. Details could not be ascertained from market participants.

Offers for deep-sea cargoes were in the region of $318-320 per tonne cfr Vietnam, with negotiations ongoing at around $315 per tonne cfr Vietnam by Friday.

Not all buyers were in the spot market due to the high prices for scrap.

“Some buyers feel that prices are very high now and prefer to wait and see. Buying now will only eat away mills’ margins and profits,” a Vietnamese trader told Fastmarkets on October 29.

In the containerized market, there was a transaction at $287 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for deep-sea bulk cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), cfr Vietnam was $310-315 per tonne on Friday, increasing by $3-5 per tonne from $307-310 per tonne week on week

Negotiations for Japanese H2 material were at $305-310 per tonne cfr southern Vietnam, with a transaction at $307 per tonne cfr Vietnam. Offers were at $310 per tonne cfr Vietnam, while a Vietnamese steel mill received an offer at $306 per tonne cfr.

There was a transaction at $312 per tonne cfr Vietnam for a bulk Japanese H1&H2 (50:50) cargo midweek.

“While there have been quite a number of transactions in the spot market in recent weeks, buyers are now starting to stand back and wait for finished product prices before they start to buy again,” a second trader in Vietnam told Fastmarkets on Friday.

Bulk Japanese HS cargoes were offered at $338 per tonne cfr Vietnam, while bulk Japanese shredded cargoes were offered at $335 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

A Hong Kong-origin H1&H2 (50:50) cargo was sold at $303 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment of steel scrap H2, Japan-origin import, cfr Vietnam was $307 per tonne on Friday, up by $2-7 per tonne from $300-305 per tonne on October 23. 

Sign up here for Fastmarkets’ free webinar on November 4, 2020, beginning at 9am London time: ‘European flat steel market – on the mend after the Covid-19 fallout?’ 

  • Overview of EU flat steel price developments in 2020 so far 
  • Suppliers’ response to the drop in demand 
  • Fortress Europe? Toughening of trade defense measures 
  • The survival of European steelmakers facing high raw material costs 
  • Demand contraction and a slow path to recovery 
  • Near-term price outlook.
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