Shortage of ferrous scrap and containers pushed offers up in Asian countries. Rising steel prices for both long and flat products also supported suppliers to raise asking prices. In the Pakistan domestic market, construction activities have gained momentum and boosted rebar trades.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, rose by $6.57/mt to settle at $382.5/mt cfr Port Qasim. Trades for containerized EU/UK-origin shredded were at $377-378/mt cfr Port Qasim, with offers even at $380-385/mt cfr Port Qasim on Wednesday. A shortage of containers with shipping companies and scrap at yards has kept many suppliers away from the market. Few European suppliers plan to close yards from mid-December till the first week of January on account of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $367/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $3/mt from Tuesday. Trades were limited for the grade at $365-367/mt cfr Port Qasim. Traders offered HMS 1&2 (80:20) at prices which were even above $365-370/mt cfr Port Qasim citing bullish global markets. Dubai-origin containerized mixed #1 HMS and P&S sarya scrap traded at prices above $365-370/mt cfr Port Qasim, gaining $10/mt from the prior week.
The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $366.88/mt cfr Port Qasim up by $5.24/mt from Tuesday. Most US suppliers diverted supplies to fulfill Turkish bulk orders. Finished steel demand is strong in Turkey, with the possibility of a further price rise in the coming days.
There were no offers for containerized scrap from South Africa as their International Trade Administration Commission has decided to ban exports of ferrous scrap to support the domestic industry.
Demand for rebar and billet firms up
In the domestic market, Bala billet prices were at PKR94,000-94,500/mt ($583-587/mt) ex-works Punjab.
Rebar makers decided to pass on the increase in input costs to end-users. The appreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar helped domestic prices. The currency was just below the PKR159.65 mark against $1 from PKR160.5 on November 25.
Finished steel prices rose in Pakistan with the aid of economic packages of PKR1 trillion and PKR100bn announced in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, respectively, for housing and construction projects. Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP) can potentially create demand for 6-7mn mt of long steel, assuming the government builds 50pc of the promised houses. Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers (PALSP) seeks implementation of uniform standards for the steel industry, following the demand from local steelmakers to cope with substandard steel.
Trades for rebar started recovering in the Southern region and were at PKR114,500-115,000/mt ex-works Karachi. In Punjab, G-60 rebar prices were at PKR113,000-113,500/mt ex-works. Prices rose by PKR2,500-3,000/mt since mid-November. Mills canceled discounts on finished steel as they face a cash crunch.
Domestic ferrous scrap prices in Pakistan maintained an uptrend on the back of bullish global cues. Prices for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S were at PKR71,800-72,000/mt ex-works Lahore, stable from Tuesday. Trades for the Pure Q Toke (shredded) heard at PKR73,000-73,500/mt ex-yards with offers moving up to PKR74,000/mt ex-yards.