Indian steel mills continued to inquire for imported scrap with an intent to restock material before prices rise further. The Indian government has been working to revive the economy, which mills hope could churn results. Suppliers are, therefore, expected to raise their asking prices for containers and bulk.
The weekly Davis Index for cast iron, rotors, and drums on Wednesday, settled at $344/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $5/mt, with containerized trades reported at the index price. Domestic market demand has improved in the US and Europe, which has led suppliers to raise offers for cast iron (rotors and drums). Availability in December will lower further with the winter season making logistics difficult.
Container scarcity remains an issue since trades remain hampered amid uncertainty in the international market due to the US presidential elections and the impact of a second COVID-19 wave in Europe.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded on Wednesday settled at $319.25/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $1.75/mt from Tuesday. Trades for shredded were at $318-322/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Suppliers from Australia and the US increased offer volumes amid improved demand from Indian buyers. Offers were at $322-325/mt cfr Nhava Sheva since its availability has declined, said a trader.
The Indian currency depreciated to Rs73.91 against $1 after strengthening for a brief while to touch Rs72.9 early this month. The depreciation has dampened buying sentiment for a few mills. In the domestic market, sponge iron prices have hit a 20-month high due to a supply crunch, presenting traders an opportunity to boost trades.
The Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from UAE, Wednesday, settled at $309/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $1/mt from Tuesday, with few trades reported at $309-310/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. A North Indian steelmaker booked HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $307-310/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, prices which denote a one-month peak. Trades for containerized #1 HMS without the cast and galvanized iron from Dubai were at prices above $310-312/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Offers were over $312-315/mt cfr Nhava Sheva against bids of $305-310/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
The daily Davis Index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) inched up by $0.86/mt to $308.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Wednesday amid trades picking up. Suppliers are offering bulk cargoes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $315-320/mt cfr Kandla, but these prices remain unviable for buyers.
In the coming days, however, mills could absorb a partial raise in offers should they fall short of material. In the export market, Indian mills offered billets firm at $450-455/mt cfr Southeast Asia. Chinese appetite for domestic billet has increased since China-based mills are unwilling to pay higher for imported billets.
Improved trades and a shortage of containers has resulted in the subcontinent indexes increasing. The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, settled at $318.43/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $0.81/mt from Tuesday. The daily Davis Index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $306.29/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $1.33/mt.