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.
New COVID-19 cases in India dropped for the first time in many days, however, it could take months to get the entire population vaccinated and business activities to return to usual levels. The only factor driving ferrous scrap trades was strong demand for billet and HRC in the export market where offers rose to above $750/mt cfr China for billet and $1,030-1,050/mt cfr Vietnam for HRC.
Asking prices for containerized shredded reached a four-month high with UK/EU sellers quoting $495-505/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Tuesday. The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Tuesday, settled at $497.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $4.37/mt. There were no major trades for shredded in India. For the first time, the subcontinental shredded index rose above $500/mt cfr on Tuesday.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Tuesday, settled at $468/mt cfr Nhava Sheva unchanged from Monday. Offers for HMS #1 from Dubai-origin spiked to $475-480/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on tight supply and strong global cues. A few limited volume deals heard as domestic steel demand has weakened with all major scrap consuming states under partial or full lockdown. The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Tuesday, settled at $467.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $2.25/mt from Monday.
On Tuesday, melting scrap offers in Alang remained unchanged at Rs39,200-39,300/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 trades in the Mandi Govindgarh were at Rs46,200/mt ex works.
Slowing of finished product trades and suspension of production at auto plants weighed down demand for imported scrap. Southeast Asian offers were around $740-750/mt cfr China, pushing Indian billet exporters to target $700/mt fob, hence offering room for better margins from scrap-billet spread hovering at $220/mt.
In China’s domestic market, billet prices rose by CNY20/mt to CNY5,670/mt ($884/mt) ex-works Tangshan. One of the leading rebar makers, Shagang steel hiked steel prices for mid-May shipments by CNY500-600/mt ($77-93/mt). Iron ore spot prices continued to rise amid economic optimism despite production curbs. Trade tensions between Australia and China pushed prices up despite limited demand. For 62pc spot iron ore prices rose to $230/mt cfr China, up over $40/mt in a week.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Tuesday settled at $500.20/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $3.25/mt; while that for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose to $476.37/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $3.24/mt from Monday.
According to weekly containerised freight maintained with Davis Index, from New York port to India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh weekly indexes settled on May 7 at $53.73/mt, $49.44/mt, and $81.68/mt, respectively.