The weekly Davis Index for basic pig iron fob Black Sea rose by a dollar this week after a fresh cargo sale to China continued to support the market. The index settled at $314/mt fob Black Sea on Friday, up from $313/mt a week earlier.
A CIS exporter sold 50,000mt of BPI to China at $347/mt cif China south port. The deal was booked Friday, with freight estimated at $34/mt.
Some market participants heard that a US mill had booked a vessel of BPI at $330/mt cfr Mobile but that has not been confirmed yet by counterparties. If confirmed, the price would represent a $5/mt increase in delivered US prices.
Earlier in the week, an exporter sold 5,000mt of BPI to Italy at $328/mt cfr, sending the market up by $8/mt for the week.
Market participants said prices could be at or nearing a peak because they expect demand from China to start to cool off. Others said they expect demand from China to remain healthy for at least another month.
A $40/gt decrease in prime scrap prices in the US this week is yet to play into the pig iron markets, while price direction in Europe’s domestic markets for July trade is yet to crystalize.
As a result, opinion is divided on whether China’s demand can continue to support BPI prices if prime/industrial scrap prices follow the US cue and fall in Europe also this month.