Indian imported scrap market was silent on Thursday on account of the harvest festival of Makar Sankranti. Gap between offers and bids remained wide as domestic steel prices remained under pressure.
Most industry participants feel imported scrap are less likely to go up further as Turkish bulk index dropped to $479.83/mt cfr Turkey, down $2.67/mt.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, settled at $481.88/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $5.31/mt from Wednesday. Buyers were unwilling to book high grades, including shredded, as offers are unviable. A few bids from alloy makers were lower by $15/mt at $470-475/mt cfr India than offers. Domestic steel prices continued to fall, while markets in most regions remained closed.
The landed cost for imported HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $425-430/mt on a cfr Nhava Sheva basis comes to around Rs32,000-32,500/mt delivered Mumbai mill, including import duties, freight, and port handling charges. Meanwhile, domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) prices are at Rs28,250/mt ($386/mt) delivered Mumbai mill. Thus, mills preferred domestic HMS over imported.
Ending a stand-off, Dubai-based sellers accepted some bids by Indian mills. The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Thursday, settled at $432/cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $7/mt from Wednesday. Some suppliers offered #1 HMS at $445-455/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, but bids were below $430-435/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Mills are interested in HMS scrap at $405-415/mt cfr Nhava Sheva citing it to be a workable range, but yards refused to accept those levels.
A few traders from the UAE were distressed to sell and offered #1 HMS at $415-420/mt cfr Nhava Sheva and mixed HMS at $410-415/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
Traders with low inventories in hand are hopeful that steel end-users will resume purchases and support steel prices in the coming days. Some mills continue to face liquidity issues. Many sellers and buyers are still waiting for their GST refunds and have urged the government to expedite the process.
The bulk market in Asia was upbeat as two bulk bookings concluded in Bangladesh. A mill reportedly bought bulk cargoes of mixed grades from the Oceania region and the US West Coast in the range of $500-505/mt cfr Chattogram. But Indian mills could stay away from the bulk market.
Chinese steel prices dropped as the fresh lockdown in the steelmaking province of Hebei and harsh winter is leading to piled-up inventories. Bids from Southeast Asian billet makers were below $600/mt cfr Manila, down $10-20/mt from last week. On Thursday, Q235 150mm square billets prices in China were down by CNY10/mt to CNY3,800/mt ex-works Tangshan including 13pc VAT. Indian mills continued to target billet export offers at $580/mt fob India.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, settled at $480.44/mt cfr India subcontinent, down by $7.38/mt from Wednesday. The index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $442.13/mt cfr India subcontinent, down by $3.25/mt. International freight rates have continued to firm up in all South Asian routes as container shortage persists.