Expectation strengthens for increase in US scrap prices

Posted on 29 October 2019

Source: Kallanish

After recording a decrease by $30-40/tonne in the October buy-cycle and reaching a 2019-low, US domestic scrap prices are expected to increase with November trading.

Even the sources that believed in a sideways trend in previous weeks have revised their expectations upwards. This is due to sheet price increases in the domestic market, slowing flow into scrap yards and stronger export pricing both on the West and East Coasts.

A scrap supplier tells Kallanish: “The sentiment has turned completely positive in the market but I still have doubts… As the most supporting factor I see mill outages which will keep on affecting demand, and thus pricing.”

Another supplier who expects an increase by $10-20/t says: “Turkey showed strong demand and prices increased sharply on the East Coast. And as of last week, we started observing price rises on the West Coast too. Domestic pricing should follow too – the opposite is unthinkable.”

On the West Coast, following East Coast developments, containerised HMS I/II 80:20 prices increased to $238/t cfr Taiwan, $5 higher than the previous week. New offers are heard to have reached close to $250/t, but finished steel prices and markets have failed to support the increased scrap prices. Buyers are thus resisting the higher prices.

In Vietnam, ex-US HMS I/II 80:20 bulk cargo offers stand at $255-265/t cfr, also up $5-10/t on-week. Korean buyers are also complaining about rising US offers.

On the East Coast, US origin HMS I/II 80:20 increased last week by $8/t on-week to $252/t cfr in the largest export market, Turkey. Although no offers have yet been heard this week, offer prices are expected to reach $260/t cfr Turkey. 

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