Bangladeshi mills ramped up steel production as the government lifted the national lockdown that lasted for more than a month. Though finished steel sales are slow, they are expected to gradually pick up as monsoon retreats.
Steelmakers are yet to actively resume ferrous scrap trades. Workers have started to return to factories. Also, the availability of oxygen for medical use is expected to ease with increased steel productions. However, COVID-19 cases in the country have not dropped significantly and a potential resurgence is discouraging mills from refilling scrap inventory, besides avoiding a pile-up of finished steel.
With the lifting of the lockdown, retail distributors resumed business on Wednesday. Movement restrictions on people, goods, and vehicular traffic will be further relaxed in phases.
The daily Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from Latin America dropped to $503/mt cfr Chattogram, down $7/mt following low bids. Yards struggled to find empty containers for exports and freight rates rose to nearly $100/mt on Brazil to Chattogram route. Trades for the grade reported at $500-505/mt cfr Chattogram.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, settled at $546.5/mt cfr Chattogram, up by $1.5/mt. Deals for shredded from the UK/EU continued in the range of $545-550/mt cfr Chattogram amid improving demand. As Turkish bulk ferrous scrap prices extended downward trend, containerized scrap prices in Asia remained under pressure on Thursday.
A rise in freights rates from the US West Coast kept bulk offers elevated in Bangladesh compared to the equivalent market prices in Turkey. Mills were offered bulk HMS 1&2 (80:20) from the US WC at $540-545/mt cfr Chattogram. Offer indications heard at $495-500/mt cfr Vietnam. Meanwhile, South Korean mills targeted below $485/mt cfr Korea.
The daily index for US-origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $518/mt cfr Chattogram, down $2/mt from Wednesday. Trades for the UK and US origin HMS reported at $515-518/mt cfr Chattogram.
The daily indexes for UK-origin and Australia-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) were at $511/mt and $520/mt cfr Chattogram, down by $4/mt and $3/mt respectively.
In the domestic market, no buyer was interested to import sponge iron from India. Indian sponge iron prices have surged to Rs35,000/mt ($471/mt) ex-works Raipur making it less competitive for imports.
Most participants are expecting a hike in domestic rebar and billet prices amid high input costs, while supply for domestic scrap is tight on declining demolition rates.
Offers for shipbreaking scrap equivalent to P&S were flat at BDT50,000/mt ($590/mt) ex-yards. For yards, offers for scrapped vessels firmed above $610-620/ldt, keeping domestic rolling and melting scrap prices high. For ship plates, asking prices are stable at BDT57,500/mt ex-yards. Offers for rebar from large-scale unchanged at BDT72,000-73,000/mt ex-works, depending on the brands.