Pakistani steel mills continued to stock ferrous scrap before the Eid holidays begin amid a shortage of domestic scrap. Firm offers for rebar supported large mills accept offers of around $550/mt cfr Qasim for shredded. Most were willing to pay $40/mt higher than the equivalent prices in India.
Domestic scrap and billet prices have dropped by PKR2,500-3,500/mt in the first three days of this week, keeping medium and small-scale steelmakers away.
The Pakistani government has announced three days of holidays for Eid beginning July 21. Economic activities and bank operations are expected to slow for those three days. Sellers in the UAE are likely to stay away from the market for a week, with four days of official holidays from July 19-22.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, was unchanged at $547.5/mt cfr Port Qasim. Deals for material from the UK/EU and the US concluded at $545-550/mt cfr Qasim. Most offers were firm above $550/mt cfr Qasim on Wednesday. But mills shied away from those prices amid hopes of prices reaching $540-545/mt cfr Qasim in the coming days. Pakistan continued to be the most preferred market in the Indian subcontinent.
In Turkey, mills could book at lower prices amid an increasing number of offers in the bulk market. Easing supplies pressured bulk prices as the index dropped by $9.07/mt to $484.89/mt cfr Turkey for the US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) equivalent, in recent bulk trades from Canada and the US.
In the UAE market, approaching Eid holidays and elevated freights boosted offer prices. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $505/mt cfr port Qasim, up by $2/mt. UAE-origin mixed #1 HMS and P&S offers remained unchanged at $515/mt cfr Port Qasim amid lack of vessel space and container shortage.
The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $510/mt cfr Port Qasim up $2.5/mt from Tuesday.
Rebar prices remained unchanged with deals at PKR155,550-156,000/mt ex-works Karachi and PKR154,500-155,000/mt ex-works Punjab. A few sellers offered discounts on the base asking rates to generate more sales. Heavy rains in Karachi impacted transportation, production, and domestic sales.
Domestic Bala billet prices stabilized after declining early week. Bala billet prices were unchanged at PKR126,000/mt ($789.28/mt) ex-works. Trades for imported scrap could slow down if billet sales fail to rise, believe participants.
Despite firm imported scrap offers, domestic scrap prices adjusted downward due to resistance from consumers. Trades for Art Q toke scrap (equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S) and Pure Q toke scrap (equivalent to shredded), Wednesday, were reported at around PKR98,600-99,000/mt and PKR100,800-101,200/mt ex-yard Lahore, respectively, down by PKR1,000-1,500/mt from a day ago.