The US West Coast weekly export yard ferrous scrap prices were unchanged in Portland and increased slightly in Los Angeles, but declined in San Francisco.
The daily Davis Index for Turkish imports of US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) increased by $15.42/mt over the week to $413.75/mt cfr on Tuesday. Turkey’s higher import scrap prices, China’s imminent entry into the scrap market after the Lunar New Year holiday, and an overall expectation of the Asian economic activity rising have the US scrap exporters anticipating a stronger scrap market in late February and March.
The EU and UK dock buying prices increased by about $20/gt over the past week. Japan’s export offers are firming up as inquiries are picking up from Asian mills seeking to restock raw material inventories. Offers on bulk from Japan have also increased by $40-50/mt in the past week to countries like Vietnam.
Asia’s domestic scrap prices are increasing. Japan’s Tokyo Steel increased domestic bids on tight supply, which will further support export prices. While local scrap prices in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia did not rise this week, they may increase on higher imported scrap prices and increasing demand for finished steel over the next two weeks. India’s domestic scrap prices continued to climb this week on tight supply and strong demand from steelmakers. High iron ore and pellet prices are also supporting global scrap prices.
The upward mobility of scrap prices is further supported by the expectation that US domestic scrap prices will increase by $20-30/gt in March and depending on weather trends, some market participants note that mills may potentially pay more for grades or rushed truck deliveries.
In Portland, the Davis Indexes remained unchanged as the region got hit by a snowstorm. Several yards remained closed as others were hampered by power outages and limited functionality. The indexes for #1 HMS, P&S 5ft and shredder feed were flat at $349/gt delivered, $357/gt delivered, and $257/gt delivered, respectively.
The weekly indexes in San Francisco adjusted down over the past week though market participants expect them to firm up again on export activity by the end of the month. Moreover, the buying prices are heard to be varying widely as some sellers are more willing to sell to docks while others are holding on to inventories in anticipation of an upward swing. The index for #1 HMS decreased by $27/gt to $326/gt delivered San Francisco docks and P&S 5ft dropped by $25/gt to $309/gt delivered. The shredder feed index also fell by $14/gt to $198/gt delivered.
The weekly Davis Indexes for dock prices in Los Angeles were mostly rangebound with an uptick as larger volume loads were able to attract slightly higher prices. The index for #1 HMS increased by $2/gt to $270/gt delivered and P&S 5ft climbed by $4/gt to $292/gt delivered. Shredder feed also rose by $2/gt to $180/gt delivered. Dock prices may increase in case of additional export activity at higher prices.
The downtrend in the containerized market paused last week and is showing an uptrend. HMS 1&2 (80:20) is firming up by $5-10/mt from the $320-325/mt fas reported last week on negotiations, though deal activity now is limited. Market participants forecast a jump by another $10-15/mt next week as transactions resume after the holiday in Asia. Containerized offers in delivered terms are heard trending up by $5-10/mt in Asian markets already early in the week.