US containerized ferrous scrap indices increased this week as buyers sought sideways pricing. As anticipated, buyers who were cautious at the beginning of September were met with firm prices this week, and both buyers and sellers alike expect additional hikes next week.
Buyers have vacillated in recent weeks—indexes were flat three weeks ago, and while prices rose the following week, they were sideways again last week because of market uncertainty. However, with both scrap inventories and demand tight, container prices rose once again this week.
Buyers reported limited inventories at scrapyards, with sellers holding onto incoming feedstock to finish old orders.
The weekly Davis Indexes in New York increased, with #1 busheling rising by $6/mt fas to $291/mt fas and HMS1&2 (80:20) increasing by $7/mt fas to $269/mt fas. The indices for machine shop turnings, P&S 5ft, and shredded increased by $10/mt fas to $240/mt fas, $292/mt fas, and $287/mt fas, respectively. Shredded scrap containers were quoted at $290/mt fas on September 10, an offer level also heard last week, but the index moved on deals achieved at higher prices.
The Davis Indexes surged in Los Angeles. #1 busheling and HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose by $10/mt to $285/mt and $262/mt fas, respectively, while the index for P&S 5ft jumped by $7/mt to $280/mt fas, and the shredded scrap index increased by $9/mt to $282/mt fas.
Asian buyers remain concerned about rising scrap prices that may not be realized at the same level as finished steel in their domestic markets. They also require scrap flows to meet increased production schedules planned for Q4. Buyers expressed interest in scrap, hedging shipments that were promised from demolition sellers in the US, but that failed to materialize, and non-shipments from South and Central America.
Stronger Kanto auction scrap prices are also supporting higher Japanese scrap export prices ,which support US-sources scrap export demand and subsequent improved prices.
The Davis Indexes in San Francisco increased across all grades. The index for #1 busheling rose by $13/mt to $280/mt fas and HMS 1&2 (80:20) increased by $9/mt to $256/mt fas. The P&S 5ft index increased by $11/mt to $278/mt fas, while the shredded index climbed by $12/mt also to $278/mt fas.
As Asian buyers sought scrap inventories along the West Coast, the weekly Davis Indexes in Seattle also increased across all grades, with #1 busheling, HMS 1&2 (80:20), and P&S 5ft rising by $10/mt to $279/mt fas, $256/mt fas, and $276/mt fas, respectively. The shredded index increased by $8/mt to $276/mt fas.
Turkish import scrap prices of $300/mt CFR Turkey for HMS 1&2 (80:20) buoyed the global scrap market. That buying prices are robust is especially noteworthy because the Turkish Lira is weak against the dollar. Turkish mills are showing confidence in their placement of finished steel sales at profitable prices in both the domestic and export markets.