Steel mills in Bangladesh went silent for imported scrap on Thursday again with their immediate requirements fulfilled. Bids were way below suppliers’ expectations. Outlook for domestic steel prices turned uncertain amid the impending arrival of monsoon and limited cash flows with small and medium-scale furnaces.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, settled at $542.5/mt cfr Chattogram, down by $0.5/mt. Offers for containerized shredded from UK/EU-yards were firm at $545-550/mt cfr Chattogram with limited buying.
Yards are interested in catering to bulk inquiries due to a shortage of empty containers. However, no mill was interested in bulk bookings as they found current levels of $550/mt cfr Chattogram for HMS 1&2 (80:20) risky in the present market.
The daily index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from Latin America settled at $510/mt cfr Chattogram, up by $2/mt. Most Latin American yards kept offers firm amid active domestic demand. It is expected that with a drop in active cases of COVID-19, lockdown restrictions could be eased after May 23 which could encourage trades.
European steelmaker ArcelorMittal announced another price hike for HRC, keeping steel prices up in the major supplier countries. Revised prices for HRC reported at €1,150/st ($1400/mt) ex-works. Prices for CRC and HDG materials were announced at €1,300/mt ex-works and boosted sellers’ sentiments.
Trades for HMS were limited amid high offers. The indexes for US-origin, UK-origin, and Australia-origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $517.14/mt, $515/mt, and $522/mt cfr Chattogram, respectively. Depending on origins, trades for containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) were reported between $515-520/mt cfr Chattogram.
For ship scrap equivalent to P&S, asking rates were at BDT47,500-48,000/mt ex-yards. Shipbreaking plates’ prices, however, rose marginally to BDT55,000-55,500/mt ex-yards driven by tight supply. Mills were interested in domestic melting scrap at BDT46,000-46,500/mt ex-yard Chattogram.
Rebar sales continued to disappoint large steelmakers who had to hike prices following high input costs. After returning from Eid holidays, large-scale steelmakers have hiked rebar prices by BDT1,500-2,000/mt ($18-24/mt) to BDT72,500-73,500/mt ex-works. Buyers limited their purchases of finished steel. End-users in Bangladesh are uncertain whether to avoid booking costlier materials at present or wait because the arrival of monsoon could pressure steel prices further.