Indian mills stepped back from booking imported ferrous scrap as prices scaled new highs. Importers are expected to resume trades actively next week when most suppliers from the UAE return from the Eid holidays. Domestic steel demand in India, however, remained under pressure as new COVID-19 cases kept surging.
Closure of auto plants due to chip and semiconductor shortages has also hit steel demand. Only a few large-scale steelmakers continued to purchase scrap as they focussed on steel exports. Small-and-medium scale mills, however, could be away from the market until the pandemic comes under control.
Asking prices for containerized shredded reached a four-month high with UK/EU sellers quoting $495-500/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Monday. The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Monday, settled at $493.13/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $6.88/mt.
The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Monday, settled at $465.25/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $7.75/mt from Friday. Most yards and traders in supplier countries are either focusing on bulk exports over containers or preferred to sell in their domestic markets amid strong demand.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $468/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $10/mt. Offers spiked from Dubai-origin for HMS #1 above $470-475/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on tight supply and strong global cues.
In India, with over 3.7mn active cases of COVID-19 as of May 10, over 25 states are under complete or partial lockdown. Demand in Chennai is expected to slow amid new restrictions. Meanwhile, the UAE government has extended its ban on ferrous scrap exports by three months, but market participants believe it is unlikely to affect the Indian markets.
On Monday, melting scrap offers in Alang rose by over Rs1,000/mt from Friday to Rs39,300/mt ex-yards. Dismantling activities at most yards remain suspended due to oxygen diversion. Rebar prices reached Rs50,900-51,000/mt ex-works Mumbai while ingot offers in the Mandi Govindgarh rose to Rs46,500/mt ex works.
In China, iron ore spot prices continued to rise amid economic optimism despite production curbs. Trade tensions between Australia and China pushed prices up despite limited actual demand. For 62pc spot iron ore, prices rose above $220/mt cfr China.
In the domestic market, billet prices spiked by CNY430/mt ($67/mt) at CNY5,650/mt ($881/mt) ex-works Tangshan. Baosteel announced a price hike for HRC pushing offers above $1,000/mt fob China.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Monday settled at $496.95/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $6.57/mt; while that for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose to $473.13/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $8.65/mt from Friday.