Pakistani ferrous scrap importers stayed away from purchases pulling bids further down. Prices dropped by around $15/mt in just two days to diffuse the stalemate between buyers and sellers. Mirroring the drop in the Turkish bulk prices by $5.59/mt on Tuesday to $456.41/mt cfr Turkey for HMS 1&2 (80:20), mills in Pakistan decided to postpone trades to gain clarity on price direction.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, settled at $450.63/mt cfr Port Qasim, down by $5.62/mt from Tuesday. Most buyers refused material above $450-455/mt cfr Qasim on Wednesday. A trader claimed to have sold UK-origin shredded at $445-450/mt cfr Qasim.
A few sellers are under pressure to liquidate their already loaded containers on the vessels which are about to arrive in Pakistan. Earlier, they were under impression that global prices would rise sharply. However, the trend has reversed now, resulting in some distress sales in the market which could continue further.
Market participants expect good restocking demand ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, as activities are likely to slow down on limited operating hours from April 12.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $433.75/mt cfr Port Qasim, down $1.25/mt. Due to active demand in the domestic market in the US, most suppliers stayed away from overseas trade.
Offers for #1 HMS and P&S from UAE dropped by $10/mt to $430-435/mt cfr Port Qasim, depending on quality. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $425/mt cfr Port Qasim, down by $3/mt.
Domestic steel prices stagnant
Domestic steel demand has been stagnant for over a month. Availability of lower-priced steel in the Punjab market has held steel from climbing. On Wednesday, Bala billet prices in the domestic market were stable at PKR105,500-106,000/mt ex-works. Finished flat steel prices, however, rose in the imported and domestic market following strong demand internationally.
In the Lahore market, rebar was offered at PKR131,000/mt ex-works while in the South region major rebar producers kept asking rates at PKR135,000-137,000/mt ex-works Karachi.
Domestic scrap stays elevated on demand
Prices for Art Q toke scrap, equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S, Wednesday, traded at PKR85,500-86,000/mt ex-yard Lahore. In the Lahore and Punjab markets, Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded traded on Wednesday at PKR86,700-87,000/mt ex-yard Lahore.
In Gadani, ship recycling yards are busy with cutting activities and offers for scrapped vessels ranged from $450-470/ldt cnf. Still, following falling melting scrap prices, yards owners are resisting high offers to encourage a drop of a minimum $10-15/ldt over this week. Rebar made from re-rolling scrap was offered at lower prices compared to large steelmakers’ asking rates amid stiff competition among mills to reduce finished inventory before the Ramadan lull.