US scrap prices decline, as anticipated

Posted on 11 February 2020

Source: Kallanish

US domestic scrap prices settled last week, as expected, down $20-30/gross ton for the February-buy cycle, depending on the quality and region, Kallanish notes.

As a result of the continuous decrease in export prices and slowed domestic demand in January, the upward trend in US domestic scrap prices, which began in November, has come to an end.

US East Coast scrap prices have seen a steeper decrease compared to the Midwest, as a result of US scrap export prices to Turkey sliding by more than $30/tonne. Almost all grades dropped $30/t on the East Coast, but in the Midwest shredded and prime grades were firmer, dropping only $20/t.

“The prices decreased in line with our expectations,” says an East Coast scrap supplier. Some market players have already started making predictions about March trading prices; however, it is too early, I think. With the virus affect, the flow of the steel trade in the world may completely change.”

On the West Coast, US-origin containerised HMS 1/2 80:20 scrap prices in Taiwan continued decreasing throughout last week. Although they decreased down to $230/t cfr Taiwan, buyers’ expectations were at even lower levels.

Turkey accelerated its deep-sea scrap purchases last week, with US-origin HMS 1/2 80:20 prices standing mostly at $260/t cfr in deals. However, one Turkish mill bought a US-origin 80:20 cargo at $264/t cfr Turkey, as it was in urgent need of a prompt-shipment US cargo.

Considering $264/t was an exceptional price for prompt shipment, some market participants argue scrap prices declined further last week from the $267.5/t cfr US-origin deal the week before. Others, however, believe the $264/t deal represents a rebound in prices, and higher values will follow this week. 

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