Mills in India booked limited volumes of imported ferrous scrap and focused on domestic purchases. Steel prices continued to strengthen as manufacturing activities gain momentum.
Inventories of ferrous scrap with most mills are depleting fast and domestic scrap supply is tight. If the third wave of COVID is controlled well, Indian ferrous scrap imports are expected to resume actively. Global cues on Thursday were soft both in the Turkish and Chinese markets, however, sellers are confident that scrap prices have very limited room for downward movement from the current levels.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, settled flat at $525/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Hopeful of demand recovery, traders still target above $530/mt cfr for shredded. A few distressed sales in small quantities reported at $520-525/mt cfr Nahva Sheva and Qasim earlier week.
Offers for high grades like busheling and P&S stayed high widening the gap against HMS scrap. High grades are being supplied to domestic mills in exporting countries as South Asian buyers failed to match the offers.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) declined $2/mt to $473/mt cfr Nhava Sheva following a drop in Pakistani bids. Indian mills continued to bid low despite a recovery in demand. For the UAE-origin #1 HMS, offers dropped to $480-485/mt cfr Nhava Sheva by $5/mt on Thursday.
Weak billet export demand from the ASEAN countries amid ongoing restrictions in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and other markets weighed down Asian billet prices. China continued billet imports at $700-705/mt cfr China while Indian primary mills are eyeing bids of above $625-630/mt fob to maintain margins.
Prices for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) were at Rs35,000/mt ($471/mt) delivered Mumbai. Mills are targeting a slight decline in imported HMS 1&2 (80:20) offers to resume trades. Prices hovered at $475-480/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Thursday. The landed price for imported scrap is still $25-30/mt higher than domestic but local supplies are tight.
Trading in Alang’s shipbreaking market remained shut due to the extension of transporters’ strike. In Mumbai, the asking prices for rebar on Thursday were stable at Rs50,000/mt ex-works. In Mandi Gobindgarh, ingot traded at Rs45,500-700/mt ex-works, up by Rs200-400/mt on gradual recovery in rebar demand on Thursday.
The US Senate has passed a bill of $3,500bn infrastructure investment which bodes well for the domestic steel industry. However, stricter production curbs and increasing COVID-related worries lowered Chinese futures by 2-3pc on Thursday.
On Thursday, international iron ore Fe 62pc prices dropped by $2.3/dmt to $165.6/dmt cfr North China as compared to Wednesday. The daily domestic billet price in China on Thursday was stable at CNY5,110/mt ($789/mt) ex-Tangshan inclusive of VAT. Billet inventories increased at ports amid increasing arrivals while spot rebar prices dropped by around CNY100/mt on Thursday on lowered consumption.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded on Thursday, settled at $528.15/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $0.10/mt; while that for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $487.55/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $0.70/mt.
On the New York to South Asia route, normalized weekly container freight rates remained elevated amid tight availability.