WEEKLY SCRAP WRAP: Taiwan sole active buyer amid global lull

Taiwan was the sole active buyer of ferrous scrap in the week ended Friday April 24 amid limited demand from other key markets.

  • Turkey still out of spot market
  • US recyclers pay more amid domestic shortage
  • Vietnamese buyers keep focus on Japanese scrap
  • Taiwanese buyers pursuing containerized cargoes
  • India lockdown still affecting market


Steel mills in Turkey did not make any bookings for deep-sea cargoes of scrap last week due to lower steel output as a result of weak downstream demand. It was also a shorter-than-usual work week due to holidays.

At least six steel mills have stopped production and at least five have reduced output by 35-70%, market sources told Fastmarkets.

Turkey had bought seven deep-sea cargoes of scrap amounting to almost 220,000 tonnes in the week ended April 17.

Fastmarkets’ daily index for steel scrap, heavy melting scrap (HMS) 1&2 (80:20), US origin, cfr Turkey was $258.00 per tonne cfr last Friday, unchanged week on week.

The daily index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), North Europe origin, cfr Turkey also ended the week unchanged from a week earlier, at $251.83 per tonne.

United States
Ferrous scrap exporters are having trouble sourcing for materials to fulfill May- and June-shipment contracts after securing bookings over the April 6-16 period for six cargoes to Turkey.

Supply is tight due to recyclers closing temporarily or restricting entry to their premises amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fastmarkets’ steel scrap HMS 1&2 (80:20), export index, fob New York increased by $15.19 per tonne to $238.33 per tonne last Wednesday, from $223.14 per tonne on April 15.

Fastmarkets’ steel scrap shredded scrap, export index, fob New York increased by $13.17 per tonne to $243.37 per tonne from $230 per tonne over the same period.

Recyclers are paying at least $175 per gross ton at docks in New York, Philadelphia and Boston. This is $20-30 per ton higher week on week.

Fastmarkets’ steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), export index, fob Los Angeles fell by $39 per tonne to $216 per tonne last Wednesday after a seller sold a bulk cargo to Bangladesh at $246 per tonne cfr.

Scrap buyers in Vietnam continued to concentrate on Japanese scrap amid an absence of offers for deep-sea bulk cargoes.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for deep-sea bulk cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), cfr Vietnam was unchanged last Friday, at $242-248 per tonne.

An absence of offers kept negotiations at a minimum. Suppliers were still watching the market and did not issue any firm offers. Instead, they solicited bids from end users, but buyers held back as well.

Cargoes consisting of 8,000-15,000 tonnes of Japanese H2 scrap were traded at $234-235 per tonne cfr southern Vietnam. Buyers in northern Vietnam were negotiating to buy such materials at $240 per tonne cfr.

Such cargoes were offered to Vietnam at $235-240 per tonne cfr southern Vietnam.

Ferrous scrap buyers in Taiwan continued to chase after containerized cargoes of US scrap last week due to their bullish outlook for spot prices for steel products.

Fastmarkets’ daily price assessment for containerized cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), US material import, cfr main port Taiwan was $226-227 per tonne cfr last Friday, unchanged from Thursday but up by $9-11 per tonne from a week earlier..

Transactions for HMS 1&2 (80:20) were concluded at increasingly higher prices throughout the week. They moved from $220-222 per tonne in the first half of the week to $226-227 per tonne cfr Taiwan by Thursday and Friday.

Offers for such cargoes were at $230 per tonne cfr Taiwan by the end of last week, compared with $222 per tonne earlier.

Cargoes of Japanese H1&H2 (50:50) scrap were sold at $232-233 per tonne cfr Taiwan earlier in the week. A transaction was also said to have been concluded at $235 per tonne cfr Taiwan on Wednesday or Thursday, but this could not be confirmed.

Prices for scrap imports in India fell along with demand for the steelmaking raw material, which remained affected by the country’s lockdown to keep Covid-19 from spreading.

Fastmarkets calculated the steel scrap, shredded, index, import, cfr Nhava Sheva, India at $269.13 per tonne last Friday, down by $3.37 per tonne from $272.50 per tonne a week earlier.

The lockdown is keeping the market at a standstill – no transactions or negotiations for them were heard.

Sources reported offers – and estimates for achievable transaction prices – at $255-280 per tonne last week, widening from $260-275 per tonne a week earlier.

Some parts of India have had restrictions relaxed since April 20, but the ports of Nhava Sheva and Mundra remained as “red zones” because they have big cities where construction and infrastructure projects area.

Employers have also not re-opened workplaces out of fear of their employees contracting Covid-19.