Indian mills bought containers of imported HMS scrap only to meet their minimum requirements. Price levels for other grades remain unviable for most Indian buyers.
Suppliers were unwilling to lower offers in anticipation of firm prices in the near term. There was a wide gap between bids and offers. But most expect prices to fall in April amid a lull in the market due to Ramadan celebrations.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded settled at $462.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down $2.5/mt from a day prior. Mills opted for domestic scrap over imported. But trades are expected to pick up next week amid tightening domestic scrap availability. Offers for UK/EU-origin shredded were at $460-465/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Friday.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Friday, settled at $420/cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $2/mt as trades slowed. Offers for Dubai-origin HMS #1 and P&S ranged between $420-430/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, despite bids of $410-415/mt cfr Nhava Sheva and $425-430/mt cfr Chennai.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Friday was unchanged at $425/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Suppliers kept offers firm as March settlements were up by $50-70/gt in the domestic market. HRC prices in the US hit a record high of $1,250/mt ex-works fuelling a bullish sentiment. A few buyers expect prices to drop with an increasing number of suppliers in the market.
Shipbreaking melting scrap prices, Friday, rose by Rs400/mt to Rs31,000/mt ex-Alang amid firm imported scrap offers and tight domestic scrap supply. Ingot prices in Mandi Gobindgarh were at Rs39,300-39,500/mt ex-works on Friday.
In China, the optimism over economic growth faded with the parliamentary session setting the GDP growth target at 6pc, far below earlier forecasts. The debt ratio remained high and forced the government to cut stimulus. Thus steel futures fell by 4-5pc in a day. There is also the possibility of the government decreasing the export tax rebate next week.
In China, on Friday, Australian iron ore with 62pc Fe content is fell by $2-3/mt after rising to $178.5/mt cfr China. Domestic billet prices dropped by CNY100/mt to CNY4,310/mt ex-Tangshan, including VAT.
Indian primary steelmakers sold a substantial volume of billets in the export market at $545-550/mt fob. Some induction furnace makers were also able to sell billets at $578-583/mt fob India. Bids for Russian billets were at $600-605/mt cfr Southeast Asia and China on Friday.
On Friday, the daily Davis Index for containerized shredded slipped to $464.14/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $2.96/mt. The daily index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $432.49/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up $0.16/mt. Buyers continued to resist current price levels, pressurizing sellers. Container availability is still low.