ACCOUNT PROFILE

Japanese scrap collapses

Posted on 29 January 2021

Japanese scrap prices continue to plunge, Kallanish notes. The fall in domestic and export values has been quick and sharp over the past week.

South Korea’s Hyundai Steel pressed down Japanese scrap prices on Thursday by bidding at JPY 35,000/tonne ($336/t) fob Japan, down by JPY 4,500-6,000/t ($43-58/t) on the previous week’s auction. It also bid for H1/H2 50:50 at JPY 35,500/t and for P&S, shredded and Shindachi Bara grades at JPY 39,000/t.

Korean mills keep trying to cut buying prices for Japanese scrap, a Korean trader says. But he is not sure if suppliers can accept prices lower than today. It will be clearer after the Lunar New Year holiday which is celebrated in Korea, he adds.

In Vietnam, offers for Japanese H2 scrap have fallen to $380/t cfr Vietnam, importing mill sources say. This includes an offer for 5,000-18,000 tonnes. Offers were at $415/t cfr earlier this week and $435-440/t cfr last Friday.

Some market sources have heard of a deal taking place at $380/t cfr Vietnam but they are unable to confirm it. Importers are generally waiting for price stability before they place orders. "We can’t buy if the market continues dropping," a mill source says.

On the Japanese home-front, Tokyo Steel continued to rapidly trim down its domestic scrap procurement prices. The mill has reduced prices every day since 26 January. It lowered prices by a total of JPY 7,000/t over the last three days to JPY 29,000/t ($278) for H2 scrap purchases trucked to its Utsunomiya steelworks, effective 29 January. It was paying JPY 40,000/t for H2 – a massive $106/t higher – a week ago on 22 January.

The company's purchase prices for H2 deliveries to its other steelworks and steel centre are prevailing at JPY 38,500-39,500/t.

Source : Kallanish