Turkish scrap seeks direction, mills' rebar hike fails

Posted on 12 July 2019

Source: Kallanish

The Turkish scrap market has quietened after a lower-priced UK-origin booking earlier this week left participants searching for market direction. Turkish mills have been unable to achieve their desired rebar price hikes due to very weak demand, and are more likely to accept previous, lower levels, sources tell Kallanish.

The solitary scrap booking this week was for 20,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 80:20 at $288/tonne cfr Turkey, down over $10/t from US and Baltic cargoes concluded last week. One European scrap merchant says the cargo had issues with quality that were identified by an independent surveyor on behalf of another Turkish mill that was initially interested in the material. Various sources, however, point out the purchasing mill typically has high scrap quality requirements.

Asked if the scrap deal will in any case lead other mills to reduce bids, the scrap merchant says: “That’s what they will clearly try to do but it’s going against the underlying fundamentals.”

Turkish mills are now bidding at $285/t cfr for European scrap, with suppliers trying to hold out for $295/t. “Mills are not pushing too hard for lower prices because they did so already twice this year and saw the negative effects – prices went down and then came back up again fast afterwards,” a Turkish scrap agent observes. The next round of bookings is likely to be in the $290-300/t range, depending on origin, he adds.

Although mills raised their rebar export quotes to a minimum of $470/t fob Turkey last week, one Turkish producer sold a 5,000-t cargo to Romania this week at $465/t fob. This indicates mills have failed in their efforts to push through price hikes. “There is no demand,” laments one mill export manager. 

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