Imported containerized ferrous scrap trades in Bangladesh remained limited. However, with uptick in domestic steel demand on the back of the resumption of a few government infrastructure projects, some sellers said recovery could be seen in next couple of days in Bangladesh.
Mills with limited inventories are expected to resume trades for the remaining March-April shipments. Some mills believe the increase in iron ore prices in China by over $10-13/mt from Feb 2, when prices had hit a eight-week low of $150/mt, could offer strength to steel prices. But most mills could stay away from purchases till the Chinese New Year holidays end later this month.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Tuesday, settled at $410/mt cfr Chattogram, unchanged from Monday. Around 1,000mt shredded from the UK traded at $410/mt cfr Chattogram while most offers were only in the range $415-420/mt cfr Chattogram on Tuesday traders claimed the prices have bottomed out and could rise with revival in demand in the coming days.
After trades for Africa and the UK-origin P&S were reported at $415-420/mt cfr Chattogram, on Tuesday a few sellers were quoting $425-430/mt cfr Chattogram as a viable range on acute container shortage.
The daily Davis Index for containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) from the US settled at $390/mt cfr Chattogram, down by $1.79/mt while the index for Latin America dropped by $1/mt to $390/mt cfr Chattogram. Most suppliers were not ready to offer at lower prices citing better realisation in their domestic markets. Major yards could stay away from the market till prices rise by another $15-20/mt and match their desired levels.
UK yards showed limited interest in negotiations as the country is under lockdown due to rising COVID-19 infections. Only a few traders offered HMS #1 at $395-400/mt cfr Chattogram as most focused on the domestic market amid strong demand.
Chinese iron ore prices maintained an uptrend for a fourth successive working day on Tuesday despite historic lull ahead of Chinese New Year holidays. A few traders were interested in trading, giving sentiments a boost. In the bulk market, buyers were mostly inactive amid an uncertain market.
Offers for Sponge iron showed an uptick amid strengthening domestic prices on Tuesday. With sponge iron prices jumped by up to Rs800-1,000/mt in some regions to $350-360/mt cpt Benapole or $360-370/mt cfr Chattogram, up by $10/mt from a week earlier.
Domestic scrap, billet up on tight supply
On Tuesday, shipbreaking scrap equivalent to P&S traded at BDT39,000-39,500/mt ex-yards, up BDT500/mt from the prior day. The prices for ship plates were flat at BDT44,000-45,000/mt ex-yard.
Domestic billet traded at BDT49,500-50,000/mt ex-works Chattogram with a few raising asking rates to BDT51,000-52,000/mt ex works. End-users purchased rebar at BDT54,000-55,000/mt ex-works from small-scale producers. Medium-scale rebar producers offered billets at BDT59,500-60,000/mt ex-works, up BDT1000/mt.
Large scale steelmakers are upbeat by positive domestic steel sentiments with the next few months being a busy construction season. Most mills could resume bulk imports again post Chinese holidays. Japanese small bulk suppliers are expecting Chinese ferrous scrap importers to turn active which could boost sentiments, said steelmakers.