In India, demand for imported ferrous scrap continued to strengthen amid bullish sentiment in the steel export market. Large-scale steel mills have received orders from overseas buyers, supporting them to raise asking prices of flat steel and rebar for May shipments. The COVID-19 wave has reached its peak and new cases could start to decline in the coming days.
Traders expect demand for ferrous scrap to register a spike for a brief period in late May, just before the onset of monsoons. If the steel demand sustains, mills could be in the market for restocking.
Offers for containerized shredded from the UK/EU were at $475-480/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Tuesday. The Davis Index for containerized shredded settled at $473.75/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $5/mt from Monday. Trading was, however, slow.
The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Tuesday, settled at $451.08/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $3.67/mt from a day ago. Deals under negotiations are very few but buyers could resume inquiries amid a shortage of ferrous scrap inventories. US sellers were bullish on May’s domestic demand and lifted their offers for seaborne sales.
South Asian buyers, especially those in Pakistan and Bangladesh were looking for prompt delivery material, aiding UAE traders to raise offers for Indian buyers. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $443/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $3/mt. Deals for Dubai-origin HMS #1 were in the range of $445-450/mt cfr Nhava Sheva and $465/mt cfr Chennai.
On Tuesday, melting scrap offers in Alang increased by Rs600-700/mt to Rs37,900-38,000/mt ex-yards. Activities at yards remained largely suspended amid stringent lockdown restrictions. In Mumbai, rebar prices rose by Rs200/mt on Tuesday to Rs50,200/mt ex-works Mumbai despite slow demand.
State governments have extended movement restrictions to contain the virus in most major ferrous scrap consumer states, including Maharashtra, Punjab, Goa, Haryana. This has impacted inter-district transport and the availability of laborers. Production by secondary steel makers has declined by around 50pc. Many automakers have also halted operations, impacting alloy steel demand.
In China, markets will remain closed for labor holidays until May 5. Indian mills kept billet export offers above $680-685/mt cfr China and are waiting for the market to re-open. Indian steelmakers are optimistic about a rise in billet export deals due to the cancellation of import duties effective May 1.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Monday settled at $477.05/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $4.14/mt; while that for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $451.08/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $3.64/mt from Monday.