Mills preferred to negotiate for Japanese bulk scrap over higher-priced US-origin material as they sought to restock before prices rose further.
Containerized imported ferrous scrap prices in South Korea rose this week on the back of higher offer prices. Demand, however, is still under pressure with mills holding good levels of scrap inventories. The weekly Davis Index for containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $283/mt cfr South Korea, up by $10/mt, with no deals heard at the index price.
Mills preferred to negotiate for Japanese bulk scrap over higher-priced US-origin material. Deals for Japanese shindachi were heard with Korean mill Seabe buying at JPY33,500/mt cfr ($319/mt) or JPY31,500/mt fob and Hyundai steel purchasing at JPY32,500/mt fob or JPY34,500/mt cfr, with buyers restocking before offers rise further.
In the coming days, however, mills expect finished steel export and domestic demand to recover, aided by billet exports to other Asian countries. Bids for billets rose by $10/mt on Wednesday to $460/mt cfr Southeast Asia. Increased imports by Chinese buyers is expected to raise demand for billets in the coming weeks.
The weekly Davis Indexes for P&S 5ft, #1 HMS, and shredded rose by $10/mt, $11/mt and $11/mt to $295/mt, $293/mt, and $288/mt cfr South Korea, respectively.
South American suppliers offered HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $270-275/mt cfr South Korea on Wednesday. South Korean domestic ferrous scrap prices trended flat this week. Hyundai, Posco and other Korean steel mills increased domestic scrap prices by KRW10,000/mt ($8.8/mt) for Pohang this week as rising imported scrap offers push prices higher.
Taiwanese mills continued to buy with caution. A few deals were heard at $288/mt cfr. The Davis Index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) Wednesday rose by $4/mt to $287/mt cfr Taiwan. Prices of finished steel in Taiwan increased for the second consecutive weeks and are likely to rise further to offset higher input costs.
Offers for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) in FEUs were at $290-295/mt cfr and are expected to rise with an uptick in buying from Turkey. Despite limited demand rising offers are pushing scrap prices higher.
Feng Hsin raised domestic rebar and scrap prices by TWD300/mt on Monday and is expected to raise it further amid a shortage of domestic scrap and rising input cost.
($1= TWD28.7; KRW1,139; JPY105)