Mills in India decided to hold their imported ferrous scrap purchases following slow demand in most of the Southeast and Chinese markets amid COVID-related lockdowns. Domestic steel prices adjusted downward on demand concerns. Trades for imported cast iron rotors picked up on improved demand.
The weekly Davis Index for cast iron, rotors, and drums, Wednesday, Aug 25 settled at $527/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $17/mt from Aug 18. Trades for the grade from the UK/EU reported at $525-530/mt cfr Nhava Sheva following improving domestic demand and production activities. Sellers decided to hold offers as a few buyers are yet to complete bookings for their melt requirements and are expected to book more. This boosted prices further this week.
In the domestic market, cast iron toka scrap prices, Wednesday, recovered by Rs200/mt from the prior week to Rs36,000/mt delivered Mandi Gobindgarh while imported cast scrap is offered at Rs37,000/mt ($498/mt) delivered mills. Pig iron offers in north India for steel grade were at Rs41,300-41,500/mt delivered while those for foundry grade at Rs43,500-43,700/mt delivered Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Most believe Indian finished steel prices could stay flat to down in the near term. Despite this, ferrous scrap trades could register an uptick amid short domestic supply and gradual improvement in production as the monsoon recedes.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, further dropped by $1.25/mt to $522.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Indian mills remained reluctant to buy imported high grades and focused mainly on HMS trades. Interest for shredded remained scarce even from regular alloy makers despite low inventories. Bids were below sellers’ expectations, who are still hoping for a recovery.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was unchanged at $470/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Wednesday. For UAE-origin #1 HMS there were no buyers above $480/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Mills stepped back expecting a further drop in offers and extended their silence amid mixed sentiments.
Domestic melting scrap prices in Alang jumped by Rs500/mt on Wednesday. Melting scrap traded at Rs35,800/mt ex-Alang. In Mumbai, the asking prices for rebar rebounded by Rs200/mt to Rs49,500/mt ex-works. Recovery in Chinese spot steel and futures offered new hopes among participants for better prices in the coming days.
In Mandi Gobindgarh, ingots traded at Rs45,000/mt ex-works on Wednesday, down Rs100/mt from Tuesday. Demand for rebar showed a slight recovery in North India yet Chennai-based mills are largely away from bookings imported scrap.
Chinese steel prices maintained an uptrend on Wednesday. The likelihood of another round of environmental inspections in September month in China and a new round of investment in the US on infrastructure could result in further price recovery.
On Tuesday, international iron ore prices recovered to $148.6/dmt cfr China for Fe 62pc spot sales, up by $12.1/mt from a day prior. Resumption in regularisation of port operations at the Chinese ports which were hit due to COVID resurgence could boost prices. On Wednesday, iron ore futures on the Dalian commodity exchange strengthened.
Daily domestic billet price in China recovered by CNY20/mt to CNY4,950/mt ex-Tangshan inclusive of VAT on Wednesday.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded on Tuesday, settled at $526.22/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $1.91/mt; while that for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $485.25/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $1.3/mt. A decline in global ferrous scrap prices is reflected in South Asia.