Imported ferrous scrap demand in India remained under pressure with the number of new COVID-19 cases reaching new highs every day. A majority of states in the country have already imposed lockdowns or lockdown-like measures. Manufacturers, including steel mills, have curtailed production amid dented demand and lack of workforce.
Sentiment for seaborne scrap purchases was also dampened by the Indian currency depreciating to Rs75.39/mt on April 21 against $1 from Rs74.3/mt on April 16.
Market participants are wary of finished long steel demand picking up in May even if lockdown restrictions are eased and believe it could stay subdued until June. Monsoon season in early June slows the pace of construction activity.
Importers resisted offers of $455-460/mt cfr Nhava Sheva for EU/UK-origin shredded. The Davis Index for containerized shredded Tuesday settled at $457.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $1.25/mt from Tuesday.
The weekly Davis Index for cast iron, rotors, and drums, Wednesday, settled at $456/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $4/mt. Buyers stayed away from booking cast iron rotor drums as they found offer levels high for their programs. But suppliers kept their offers firm at $460-465/mt cfr Mundra.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $426/cfr Nhava Sheva, down $4/mt. Offers for Dubai-origin HMS #1 were unchanged at $435-440/mt cfr Nhava Sheva from a day ago.
Mills eyed $420-425/mt cfr Nhava Sheva levels for HMS 1&2 (80:20) as domestic prices for the grade were unchanged after declining by Rs1,500/mt to Rs31,000/mt del Mumbai mills.
The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $430.75/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $1/mt from Tuesday. Offers were at $435-440/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on limited container availability and high freight rates. Bids were at $420-425/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
On Wednesday, melting scrap offers in Alang lost another Rs400/mt to Rs35,300-35,400/mt ex-yards. Many yards have been forced to shut operations on oxygen shortage. There is a possibility of recycling activity at Alang coming to a standstill.
Despite lowered generation, weak demand relative to the supply pulled prices down.
In Mumbai, a major scrap consumer market, rebar prices fell by Rs1,000/mt for a second successive day. Rebar traded at Rs49,300/mt ex-works Mumbai with HMS scrap prices falling to Rs31,000/mt delivered works.
Major steelmakers, including Tata Steel, JSW, AM/NS, JSPL, and Sail, have diverted their oxygen supply for emergency medical use. Steel demand in the domestic market remains tepid and steelmakers could focus on exports in the near term.
In China, spot iron ore prices hit a 10-year high of $189/mt cfr North China for 62pc Fe scrap content. In the domestic market, billet traded at CNY4,940/mt ex Tangshan, unchanged from a day ago.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Wednesday settled at $451.75/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $1.90/mt from Tuesday; while that for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $428.53/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $0.97/mt from Tuesday.