Bangladeshi mills continued to stay away from the imported ferrous scrap market. Falling prices in Japan and Turkey made mills postpone purchases. Firm global HRC prices kept demand for plates from shipbreaking upbeat despite bearish domestic fundamentals.
Importers anticipate the steel market to drop further once industrial activities slow ahead of the Ramadan holidays in April. The arrival of monsoons later could extend the lull for a few more weeks. Sellers, on the other hand, hope a freight hike in April could help them raise offers. Heavy congestion at Bangladeshi ports could result in additional charges and delays in deliveries, yet another reason to keep buyers away from seaborne scrap purchases.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, settled at $455/mt cfr Chattogram, down by $0.36/mt from Tuesday. Most sellers hope for prices to bottom out soon. Especially since the fall in finished steel prices lesser than the decline in scrap.
For shredded, offers remained at $455-460/mt cfr Chattogram with buying interest in the range of $445/mt cfr Chattogram. Offers for P&S were above $450-455/mt cfr Chattogram. UK-origin busheling in containers was offered at $465-470/mt cfr Chattogram.
The fall in Japanese small bulk and decreased bids by South Korean mills weighed sentiment down. A major steel mill in South Korea bought 23,000mt Japanese #2 HMS at JPY41,000/mt fob Japan, down JPY1,000/mt from the prior deal. Thus, bids from Vietnamese mills dropped to $440-445/mt cfr Vietnam for Japanese scrap. Bangladeshi mills targeted prices below $455/mt cfr Chattogram. Suppliers from the US West Coast have kept their offers $10/mt higher than Japan-origin material.
The index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from Latin America settled unchanged at $435/mt cfr Chattogram. Bids dropped to $425/mt cfr Chattogram, with very few offers in the market. The daily Davis Index for US-origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $440/mt cfr Chattogram, down by $2.25/mt.
Domestic steel to lose steam
Domestic steel prices could drop by BDT5,000/mt at the minimum in April. Most mills are thus trying to liquidate their inventories before prices start this downtrend. Offers for ship scrap equivalent to P&S were in the range BDT43,000-43,500/mt ex-works. Domestic Melting HMS 1&2 (80:20) was offered at BDT41,500-42,000/mt ex-yard Chattogram. Most re-rollers looked to restock domestic scrap ahead of Ramadan. Indian sponge iron export prices were in the range of $375-380/mt cpt Benapole or above $400/mt cfr Chattogram.
Domestic billet prices were at BDT54,500-55,000/mt ex-works Chattogram. Offers for rebar were at BDT65,500-66,000/mt ex-works. Offers for rebar from medium-scale mills in Dhaka were flat at BDT63,000-63,500/mt ex-works. Small-scale mills offered rebar in the range BDT56,500-57,000/mt ex-works.