Supply issues lift scrap further, rebar remains sluggish

Posted on 25 January 2019

Source: Kallanish

Turkish scrap import prices have ticked up again this week following a fresh US-origin booking. However, this is solely to do with supply-side constraints and nothing with demand for Turkish finished steel, which has not improved, market participants tell Kallanish.

Following a Baltic-origin booking at the beginning of the week that priced HMS 1&2 80:20 at $287/tonne cfr Turkey and bonus at $297/t, a US supplier sold HMS 80:20 mid-week to another mill at $290/t. This is up from a North America-origin deal last week that had an indicative 80:20 price of $288/t.

A European scrap merchant says the uptick is down to a shortfall in scrap due to the winter weather and merchants holding back from the market. “At the moment you still see an appetite for scrap while there is not much available, so I don’t see lower prices in the short term,” he observes. “But in the medium to longer term I’m not bullish either… The global economy is not great.”

A second European scrap merchant says suppliers are looking for a minimum of $290/t cfr Turkey today, but doubts whether this can be achieved. Scrap prices are being propped up by fewer Chinese exports due to the Lunar New Year holiday, reduced scrap collection during winter, and Russia’s reluctance to export scrap. “There’s no abundance of material here on the mainland,” he says of scrap availability in Europe.

A third European scrap supplier says offers are now “… well in excess” of $290/t, with some sources expecting to see $300/t in the next round of bookings.

Turkish rebar mills have increased offers to $455-460/t fob Turkey, with $450/t indicated as the minimum-available price. However, a trader booked 8,000t for East Africa at $445/t fob earlier this week. At the same time, another mill claims to have achieved $455/t fob in a rebar export deal. One mill was also heard concluding a billet deal to Egypt at $425/t fob. 

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