Indian importers continued to raise inquiries for ferrous scrap as domestic steel demand continued to gain momentum. Mills also have the option to exports flat steel and semi-finished if the domestic demand slows. Thus the demand for imported ferrous scrap could continue. On Wednesday market activity largely dipped as mills focused on closing their books for March 31.
With limited ferrous scrap inventories in hand, most mills are expected to resume trading actively in April. Import inquiries for billets by Chinese buyers have picked up which could aid Indian mills to secure export orders. In the export market, offers for billets remained in the range of $620-625/mt cfr Southeast Asia following a sharp rise in Chinese domestic billet prices.
Rebar demand in Mumbai, Chennai, and Ludhiana is also expected to pick up for the next two months before the arrival of monsoons.
The weekly Davis Index for cast iron, rotors, and drums, Wednesday, settled at $450/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $4/mt. Trades for cast iron rotor drums were reported in the range of $445-450/mt cfr Mundra. Offers on Wednesday were above $455-460/mt cfr Nhava Sheva with expectations of further price increase on elevated container freight rates.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded inched up by $1.25/mt to $433.75/mt cfr Nhava Sheva from Tuesday. Mills had to raise their bids as sellers refused to cave in considering the rise in global and domestic scrap markets. Offers for shredded were in the range of $435-445/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
In Turkey, most steelmakers have announced a price hike for domestic scrap purchases and rebar and billet sales due to currency devaluation. Offers for HMS 1&2 (80:20) in bulk were heard at $425-430/mt cfr Turkey and could rise above $430-435/mt cfr for the rest of May shipments. The increase could boost imported scrap prices in South Asia.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $403/cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $3/mt from Tuesday. A limited volume of Dubai-origin HMS #1 and P&S sold at around $410-415/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, while offers on Wednesday jumped to $430/mt cfr. Traders could raise their asking prices due to a temporary jump in demand ahead of Ramadan. There is increasing competition to secure materials ahead of Ramadan resulting in a temporary shortage, believe traders.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $413.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $7.5/mt from Friday.
Offers for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from the UK and Australia were in the range of $405-415/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Wednesday. Buyers’ expectations were still around $395-400/mt cfr, $10-15/mt below the offer levels. A rise in the domestic scrap prices boosted inquiries for imported scrap. Trades for Turning, P&S, and busheling are still slow with most opting for HMS scrap with a short delivery period.
On Wednesday, shipbreaking melting scrap offers in Alang dropped by Rs500-700/mt. Melting prices were around Rs32,000/mt ex-Alang. Trades resumed actively in Mandi Gobindgarh as the strike was called off after an assurance from the ministry of finance to solve all GST-related issues. Ingot offers were at Rs42,500/mt ex-works. In Mumbai, rebar prices continued their uptrend rising Rs200/mt from Tuesday to Rs47,800/mt ex-works.
In China, on easing supply concerns, steel futures prices showed a marginal drop. Spot imported iron ore 62pc ferrous content were at $165.5/mt cfr North China on Tuesday with a possibility of further drop.
Amid an acute shortage of billets due to production cuts, domestic billet prices in Tangshan’s retail market reached a 12-and-half year high on Tuesday and remained unchanged on Wednesday at CNY4,790/mt ex-Tangshan, including VAT. Chinese imports are expected to pick up. But exports could drop as the clarity on export tax rebate is still awaited.
On Wednesday, following rising offers, and elevated container freight charges on the US-Asia route, the daily Davis Index for containerized shredded was at $430.86/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $1.88/mt. The daily index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $410.39/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $0.78/mt from Tuesday.
As per weekly containerized freight rates maintained by Davis Index, rates were at $41.8/mt, $52.8/mt, and $74.5/mt from New York to India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, respectively.