Pakistani ferrous scrap importers resumed inquiries for imported scrap amid depleting inventories. Rising domestic scrap prices and currency appreciation against the US dollar to 154 levels boosted appetite for imported scrap. The Pakistani rupee has hit the highest levels in 2021 against the US dollar.
A few buyers booked ferrous scrap, albeit, in very limited volumes to refill inventories before Ramadan starting mid-April. But uncertainty amid a new wave of COVID-19 in South Asia kept other mills apprehensive. Laborers were also afraid and refused to work full-time.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Tuesday, settled at $436.25/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $3.04/mt from Friday. Mills booked shredded at $433-435/mt cfr Port Qasim. Suppliers’ expectations jumped following a rise in Turkish bulk scrap import prices. Offers for shredded were at $435-440/mt cfr Port Qasim on Tuesday.
In Turkey, the recent bulk deal from the US for HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $427/mt cfr Turkey, up by $10-12/mt from the prior week.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Tuesday, settled at $415/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $2.5/mt from Friday. Bookings were planned in a way to secure deliveries before the Ramadan holidays begin and impact logistics.
Rising buying interest pushed offers for #1 HMS and P&S from UAE to $425-430/mt cfr Port Qasim, depending on quality. The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $415/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $4/mt from Friday. A few trades were at $415/mt cfr Port Qasim on improved demand. Many buyers stayed away from HMS bookings due to additional taxes levied on the grade over shredded. The present freight rate make landed cost for HMS higher than shredded.
Domestic steel prices rise
On Tuesday, Bala billets traded at PKR106,500-107,000/mt ex-works Lahore with offers higher by PKR500/mt than a day ago. Offers for G-60 billet were PKR111,000-111,500/mt, up PKR500/mt ex-works Punjab.
Although steelmakers are attempting to raise asking rates for rebar, limited demand kept trade prices unchanged. Rebar offers remained at PKR135,000/mt ex-works Karachi. In Punjab, it traded at PKR130,500-131,000/mt ex-works.
Domestic steel demand has been slower-than-expected for over a month resulting in many furnaces on a verge of either shutting their operations or reducing production to 50pc in Punjab. A supply cut could support steel prices. Furnace associations have sought government intervention to deal with the availability of lower-priced smuggled steel.
Prices for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S, on Tuesday, were unchanged at PKR86,500/mt ex-yard Lahore.
Trades for Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded were at PKR88,000-88,500/mt ex-yard Lahore. Delays in imported scrap deliveries amid shipping line issues are driving domestic scrap trades in Pakistan.
In Gadani, offers for scrapped vessels ranged from $460-480/ldt cnf amid improved sentiments. Ship melting scrap prices rose above PKR88,000/mt ex-yards on tight supply.