Imported ferrous scrap trades in India that have remained subdued for more than a month are expected to pick up on positive domestic sentiments. Though mills prefer low-priced domestic scrap over imports, its availability has tightened. Traders opined that prices have neared the bottom and should not drop further. A few traders attempted to raise offers but to no avail.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Tuesday, settled at $396.25/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down $1.25/mt from Monday. Secondary steelmakers were unwilling to bid above $380-385/mt cfr Nhava Sheva for shredded. While steel alloy producers with low inventories could accept current offers.
On Tuesday, domestic steel extended upward movement as billet and rebar prices in Mandi and Gujarat rose by another Rs500-1000/mt. Tight availability of domestic scrap pushed shipbreaking scrap prices up Rs500-700/mt on Tuesday.
Dubai-origin HMS #1 traded in the range of $350-360/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Tuesday, settled at $345/cfr Nhava Sheva, up $2/mt from Monday. In UAE, a couple of distressed yards are offering HMS scrap at $315-325/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. These offers are only to spoil market sentiment and shouldn’t be considered market levels, claimed traders.
The daily Davis Index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Tuesday, settled flat at $357.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Offers for #1 HMS were at $365-370/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, but there were no buyers at these levels. For Indian mills, HMS 1&2 (80:20) is still only workable at $320-340/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, said a mill owner in Gujarat.
In the global billet market, offers were equivalent at $540-550/mt cfr SE Asia. Iranian billet offers at $515-520/mt fob Iran, weighing down sentiment in SE Asia. An induction furnace-based billet maker is heard to have sold $490-500/mt fob India for Sri Lanka, down $15-20/mt from the earlier levels. However, these are not reflective of market levels, which are still firm at $510-520/mt fob India. A recent uptick has pushed domestic steel prices up by Rs500-800/mt ($7-11/mt) in most regions.
In China, steel prices were mixed ahead of the Spring Festival. Market participants are uncertain about the price direction after the Chinese New Year holidays. Prices for Q235 150mm square billets prices in China were largely rangebound amid subdued activities at CNY3,850/mt ex-works Tangshan, including 13pc VAT.
Spot imported iron ore prices continued to strengthen amid rising futures and indicate tight supply post-Chinese New Year holidays. On Tuesday, spot imported prices for Fe 62pc content rose by over $2/mt to $162.5/mt cfr China.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Monday, settled at $389.55/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $0.11/mt. The daily index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $357.71/mt cfr India subcontinent, down by $1.78/mt. Containerized freight rates increased by $10-15/mt from the prior week.