The weekly Davis Index for basic pig iron (BPI) increased by $1/mt on Thursday from $323/mt cfr New Orleans to $324/mt cfr Nola. Ferrous markets are quiet, but some material is being offered around prior levels, with no confirmed sales.
Last week, two CIS-origin producers sold cargoes at around $295-300/mt fob China, (equates to about $323/mt cfr Nola), which led to a decrease of around $30/mt compared to the prior sale at $330/mt fob Black Sea.
The last BPI sale to the US was made in mid-March when a CIS-origin cargo sold for around $350-355/mt cfr Nola. Early March BPI offers originating from CIS and Brazil rose to $365-375/mt cfr Nola, succeeding a CIS-origin cargo of BPI that sold to the US at $363/mt cfr Nola reported on March 5.
For the past two weeks, producers have reduced proposals to $320-330/mt cfr Nola, offering BPI cargos at that level on Thursday, for April or May delivery.
The index for nodular pig iron (NPI) imports was flat at $418/mt cfr Nola, with no new sales this week. The last offers heard declined to $405-430/mt cfr Nola from $430-440/mt cfr Nola, with no confirmed bids at that level.
The weekly Davis Index for US hot briquetted iron (HBI) imports was flat at $254/mt cfr New Orleans. No HBI import deals to North America were reported this week, nor was the material reportedly moving to other locations.
Prime scrap generation has reduced after automotive output was cut, leading to tightened prime supply. However, steel mills are running at reduced production levels and have lower requirements for prime, secondary, and alternative scrap grades, including BPI.
Market participants anticipate BPI and alternative scrap prices to decline due to the significant downtrend, in ferrous scrap throughout March as well as ongoing global challenges.
Steel mills have reduced buying programs for the April domestic ferrous scrap trade that typically kicks off at the beginning of every month. There was no activity as of April 2. Market participants are still unsure of price movement ceilings but foresee a wide range of declines, anywhere from $30-100/gt, with variance based on region and grade.