Deals for imported ferrous scrap in India were limited amid a wide disparity between offers and buying interests. Buyers decided to wait for global ferrous scrap prices to offer clarity before they buy more tonnages. But sellers were unwilling to lower offers as rebar sales have shown signs of recovery.
The impact of the ongoing strike in Mandi Gobindgarh was limited. Trades for ferrous scrap and finished steel were halted for two days. Various associations had raised concerns against GST compliance challenges and sought government intervention.
In a silent market, the daily Davis Index for containerized shredded settled unchanged at $428.75/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Most yards and traders kept asking rates $5-10/mt higher than the index price, citing elevated freight rates and tight supply.
In Turkey, the appetite for imported scrap remained low. Mills bought some small bulks of Russia and Baltic-origins, priced lower than the US bulk cargoes. Domestic scrap prices in Turkey continued to drop with increased shipbreaking scrap supply. Bids for HMS 1&2 (80:20) in bulk were at $420-425/mt cfr Turkey. Rebar export offers also declined by $10-15/mt to $625-630/mt fob Turkey.
The weekly Davis Index for cast iron, rotors, and drums, Wednesday, settled at $444/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down $1/mt. Buyers were interested in $400-410/mt cfr Nhava Sheva levels against offers of $450-455/mt cfr. Still, elevated container freight rate and recovery in domestic finished steel demand kept sellers bullish. There is a looming fear of the pandemic re-emergence that could keep trading slow in the second quarter.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $395/cfr Nhava Sheva. Buying interest remained around $390/mt for the grade in anticipation of a further drop. Most furnaces in India found HMS from UAE and West Africa in their affordable price range. Sellers offered Dubai-origin HMS #1 and P&S at $410/mt cfr Nhava Sheva against, with bids below $400/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, was unchanged at $410/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Offers for oversized West African HMS for 20-21mt loading with high carbon content were above $375-380/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
Shipbreaking melting scrap prices in Alang, Wednesday, dropped by Rs600/mt to Rs30,000/mt ex-Alang. Demand remained weak following global cues. Amid uncertainty due to yet another wave of COVID-19 and renewed restrictions in many states, trading took a hit in several regions. Rebar demand, however, recovered and kept sentiment supported.
In China, steel futures continued to drop amid high inventories, but iron ore prices rebounded. On Wednesday, China imported iron ore prices remained rangebound amid recovering demand. Spot imported iron ore 62pc ferrous content increased by $2.31/mt to $165.29/mt cfr North China on Tuesday. Domestic billet prices in the retail market remained flat at CNY4,440/mt ex-Tangshan, including VAT. A major reason for looming uncertainty is the lack of clarity on the export rebate taxes. A few participants believe it could be effective from April 1 and requested their customers to accept orders with more flexible terms.
HRC offers remained firm from India as Vietnamese buyers showed a willingness to accept present price levels. HRC prices in the US market remained above $1400/mt ex-works while those in China around $730/mt ex-works. Amid this disparity, Chinese prices have room for an increase. Billet offers in Southeast Asia ranged $600/mt cfr.
On Wednesday, the daily Davis Index for containerized shredded dropped to $428.96/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $1.81/mt. The daily index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $416.43/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, unchanged from a day ago. The weekly containerized freight rates on the New York – South Asia route have remained unchanged.