Imported ferrous scrap sellers in Pakistan showed resistance to accept low bids amid news of another round of containerised freight hikes in April. Most sellers held offers and a few trades in thin volumes were reported on Thursday.
Domestic steel prices stabilized on Thursday after successive drops, while domestic scrap continued the downtrend losing PKR500-700/mt. Market opinions on price direction were mixed, but most buyers stepped back from trades.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, settled at $426.36/mt cfr Port Qasim, inching up by $0.65/mt from a day prior. Major shredded scrap buyers resisted offers at $430-435/mt cfr Qasim. However, deals for US-origin shredded at $425/mt cfr and EU/UK-origin at $430/mt cfr Qasim heard on Wednesday.
Buying ferrous scrap above $400-405/mt cfr Qasim when rebar prices are below PKR130,000/mt ($836/mt) ex-works results in a margin squeeze, which steelmakers are trying to avoid. Bookings could halt towards the end of April, due to limited operations during Ramadan, resulting in a further downtrend in prices.
Offers for HMS 1&2 (80:20) in bulk remained at $425-430/mt cfr Turkey against bids at around $420/mt cfr Turkey. Domestic scrap prices in Turkey, however, dropped to $415-420/mt delivered mills. Amid sluggish sales, rebar for exports was offered at $625-630/mt fob.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Thursday, settled at $415/mt cfr Port Qasim, down $0.5/mt. Pakistani mills targeted $400-405/mt cfr Port Qasim levels for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from Australia, UK, and the US in sync with Indian buyers’ expectations.
Hoping that prices have neared the bottom, trades for #1 HMS and P&S from UAE concluded at around $415/mt cfr Port Qasim.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $405/mt cfr Port Qasim, up $2/mt from a day prior. Buyers were keen to get materials booked at the earliest to receive deliveries latest by early April and avoid transportation delays during Ramadan.
Rebar prices stabilise on slow trades
On Thursday, Bala billet prices settled in the range PKR104,000-104,500/mt ex-works, unchanged from a day prior. Downstream industries await a drop in steel prices to resume trade. HRC makers, however, remained upbeat by rising HRC prices and demand globally.
Trades for G-60 billets were in the range PKR110,000-110,500/mt ex-works Punjab stable from a day earlier. Asking rates for rebar dropped amid the increasing availability of discounted rebar in the market. In Karachi, rebar offers were at PKR134,000-135,000/mt ex-works while trades reported at PKR129,000-130,000/mt ex-works Punjab.
Domestic ferrous scrap continues losing
On Thursday, offers for Art Q scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S were at PKR84,200-84,500/mt ex-yard Lahore down PKR500/mt in line with low imported scrap offers. Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded traded down by PKR300-500/mt to PKR86,000-86,300/mt ex-yard Lahore.