The weekly Davis Index for basic pig iron (BPI) was unchanged on Thursday at $347/mt cfr New Orleans in a quiet market with no confirmed deals heard. However, there are unconfirmed reports of US-bound material from the CIS that was sold today.
Prices for BPI are expected to stay flat in the short-term, as Brazil has entered a rainy season that will affect production. Moreover, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) producers have increased their hot metal use for steelmaking rather than pig iron generation.
The last CIS-origin BPI cargo sold to the US was two weeks ago for $348/mt cfr Nola, while another confirmed US-bound cargo from the CIS sold for $346/mt cfr Nola. Offers originating from CIS and Brazil remain at $350/mt cfr Nola with no confirmed bids, as no new BPI deals transpired this week.
The Index for nodular pig iron (NPI) imports was flat at $418/mt cfr Nola, with no new sales. The last offers heard decreased from $430-440/mt cfr Nola to $405-430/mt cfr Nola, with no confirmed bids at that level.
The weekly Davis Index for US hot briquetted iron (HBI) imports remained flat at $254/mt cfr New Orleans. No HBI import deals to North America were reported this week, however, the material is moving to other locations.
US domestic ferrous scrap prices dropped last week by $10-35/gt compared to January levels, with considerable variance based on region and material sold.
Market participants believe the February decline is the pricing floor, and that ferrous scrap, as well as scrap alternatives like pig iron, pricing is projected to be either flat or increase. There is persistent uncertainty heading into spring for US metallics imports, such as pig iron, not destined for coastal mills or the lower river due to the river systems’ upcoming infrastructure work, which will commence in May 2020.
New offers for BPI are expected to rise a bit, above prior levels of $350/mt cfr Nola.