Containerized ferrous scrap prices declined this week because buyers were largely inactive, while freight rates rose and the container shortage persisted.
The Davis Indexes for containerized ferrous scrap in New York decreased by $1/mt, with #1 busheling at $278/mt fas, HMS 1&2 (80:20) decreasing by $2/mt to $248/mt fas, turnings falling by $3/mt to $215/mt fas, P&S 5ft dropping by $2/mt to $269/mt fas, and shredded declining by $2/mt to $268/mt fas.
East Coast scrap buyers were silent because container availability remains a problem and local mills await belated deliveries. A buyer said consistently rising freight rates might limit export volumes for a lot of countries in the short-term, as scrap trading is not presently financially viable. A buyer for Asian markets, however, noted that demand in the US scrap market, despite trading sideways in March, is strong, and bids at $5/mt below offers were being rejected this week by sellers who stood firm.
Cargo volumes and ship calls rebounded at Chinese ports this week. Both industrial and shipping activity returned, sparking optimism, although there remains much consternation regarding COVID-19 and its threat to global trade.
The West Coast was impacted by container shortages. An LA-based exporter said port congestion has become a problem, noting round trips that used to take two hours now take five. Another LA buyer said limited scrap buys from Taiwan will continue, especially as the latter imports billets from South Korea as an alternative to scrap. In Los Angeles, the Davis Index for containerized ferrous scrap dropped across the board, as #1 busheling declined by $10/mt to $235/mt fas, HMS 1&2 (80:20) decreased by $4/mt to $216/mt fas, P&S 5ft decreased by $6/mt to $233/mt fas, and shredded declined by $6/m to $234/mt fas.
In San Francisco, the Davis Indexes also decreased by $7/mt on #1busheling to $246/mt fas, while HMS 1&2 (80:20) decreased by $1/mt to $222/mt fas, P&S 5ft declined by $7/mt to $243/mt fas, and shredded decreased by $7/mt to $243/mt fas.
In Seattle, the Davis Indexes for containerized ferrous scrap decreased by $2/mt on #1 busheling to $248/mt fas, HMS 1&2 (80:20) decreased by $1/mt to $223/mt fas, P&S 5ft declined by $2/mt to $248/mt fas, and shredded decreased by $6/mt to $249/mt fas.