Imported ferrous scrap trades in Pakistan have slowed with the beginning of the Eid holidays along with the extension in movement restrictions due to a rise in COVID-19 infections. The government has announced national holidays until May 15. The market could stay silent till May 17, after which trading could pick up as mills have low inventories in hand.
Following global cues and logistical challenges, containerized offers rose on Monday. The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Monday, settled at $496.07/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $6.07/mt from Friday. Small-tonnage deals were heard at $490-495/mt cfr Qasim.
In Turkey, demand for ferrous scrap bulk picked up on bullish global steel prices. HRC prices in the US, Europe, and Turkey continued to rise along with improving domestic rebar prices. Many steel mills have raised rebar offers above $720-730/mt ex-works, which could push US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) to $500/mt cfr Turkey in the coming days. On Friday last week, the daily index for bulk US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $491/mt cfr Turkey, up over $60/mt in a week.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Monday, gained $10/mt to $475/mt cfr Port Qasim. Offers jumped by $10-15/mt, scaling a four-month high. Most US suppliers focused on domestic demand amid firm prices for scrap in May settlements. Logistical challenges on seaborne routes also kept sellers away.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $474/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $9/mt. Importers booked containers of UAE-origin mixed #1 HMS and P&S at $475-480/mt cfr Qasim. With India and Pakistan largely away, UAE sellers could come under pressure to sell this week, and the quantum of increase in containerized scrap could be lower than the bulk market.
In the domestic market, before the market closed, Bala billet traded at PKR111,000-111,500/mt ex-works Lahore. While Pure Q toke scrap (equivalent to shredded) prices were around PKR91,300-91,500/mt ex-yard Lahore.
Large-scale rebar makers are optimistic about steel demand after Eid and could lift the asking prices for rebar amid high input costs due to firmness in the scrap market. Some mills might continue production activities at 50pc capacity. Firm offers in the global HRC market kept flat market sentiment positive despite weak sales.