Imported scrap prices in India continued their upward trend on Monday amid strong global cues and outlook for domestic steel demand. Market sentiment has turned positive as the impact of infrastructure spending announced in the budget declared in early-February has started reflecting. Demand for rebar and billet has surged, improving the outlook for the imported ferrous scrap.
Mills resumed trades for HMS scrap from the UAE and Australia despite rising offers from the yards. The secondary steel sector was buoyed by the amendment by MoRTH to allow usage of secondary steel in the construction of roads and highways. However, this process could take another two months to be implemented and influence prices, experts said.
Local supplies of ferrous scrap tightened further, making buyers to opt for ferrous scrap from overseas markets with the zero-import duty to refill inventories. The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Monday, settled at $418.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up $7.79/mt. The index rose $22.25/mt from February 9. Few alloy producers raised bids to $415-420/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, but suppliers aimed above $425-430/mt cfr. In Pakistan, shredded trades are expected to resume at prices above $430-435/mt cfr Qasim, but sellers claimed that they would offer the same levels to Indian buyers too.
Bookings are expected to rise further once Chinese steel mills turn active after their Lunar New Year break late-February and provide better clarity on scrap and steel prices, said importers.
On Monday, the prices for shipbreaking scrap Alang rose by Rs400-600/mt from Saturday’s close while ingot prices in Mandi Gobindgarh surged by Rs1,200/mt in the period. Recovery in demand in Mandi, Gujarat and Mumbai for construction steel pushed domestic ferrous scrap prices also resulting in increased inquiries for ferrous scrap imports.
Dubai-origin HMS #1 and P&S traded in the range of $380-385/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Monday, settled at $375/cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $10/mt. Mills might resume trades for imported HMS scrap soon amid limited availability of the domestic scrap and the resulting rise in prices.
The daily Davis Index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Monday, rose by $5.75/mt to $382.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. For US-based suppliers, #1 HMS deals were viable only above $400-405/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Mills have raised their buying interest from the levels of $340-350/mt to above $370-380/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, and soon prices would reach $400/mt cfr Nhava Sheva levels — workable for most sellers, believe market participants.
China could resume purchases of ferrous scrap after the New Year holidays in late-February from various supplier countries on bullish demand outlook and improving container movement across the world. Chinese mills are also expected to resume imports of billet from SE Asia and India, which could further boost appetite for ferrous scrap purchases by induction furnaces in India.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Monday, settled at $420.72/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $14.65/mt. The daily index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $386.72/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $12.99/mt. Freight indices from the New York to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh routes dropped slightly yet most major shipping lines and freight forwarders were of the opinion that global freight rates would not drop sharply, keeping prices for imported scrap high.