Strong domestic steel demand and production ramp-ups boosted imported scrap trades in India. Taking cues from the Chinese market, global ferrous scrap prices remained high. Iron ore prices in China jumped by over 5pc in post-Lunar holiday trade boosting seller sentiment in the scrap market.
Small mills preferred competitively priced domestic scrap, but if local supplies tighten, they would be forced to buy imports to refill inventories. The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Friday, settled at $446.07/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up $0.44/mt from Thursday. The index rose $36.07/mt from the prior Friday (Feb 12). Early in the week, alloy producers bought shredded at $428-430/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. High shredded prices in Pakistan lifted sellers’ expectations in the latter half of the week but buyers shied away as the grade turned non-viable for most Indian mills.
On Friday, ship-breaking scrap prices in Alang rose another Rs600/mt to Rs30,200/mt ex Alang. Shortage of domestic scrap and rising demand supported higher prices.
Ingot prices in Mandi Gobindgarh rose by Rs500/mt from Thursday to reach Rs39,500/mt ($544/mt) ex-works. Indian primary mills resumed billet exports as secondary mills focused on the domestic market with the government revising procurement policies. Southeast Asian market remained upbeat driven by rising billet trades on the resumption of Chinese buying. Offers hovered in the range of $570-580/mt cfr Southeast Asia, up by $20/mt from the prior week.
Dubai-origin HMS #1 and P&S traded in the range of $410-415/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Friday, settled at $410/cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $1/mt. Prices for the UAE origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) jumped by $45/mt cfr from a week prior. 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), Friday, rose by $2.5/mt to $412.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. A bullish outlook for domestic settlements in March has led to US-based suppliers holding #1 HMS offers above $415-420/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Bangladeshi mills bought at $435-440/mt cfr at freight cost higher by $17-20/mt than Nhava Sheva.
There was no demand for grades other than HMS and Turning. Trades for grades like busheling and P&S remain halted. The indexes for the grade rose $35/mt to $470/mt and $28/mt to $444/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, respectively, amid high offers.
The weekly index for Turning scrap increased by $26/mt to $376/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Some trades heard with sellers asking above $380/mt cfr Mundra on Friday. Offers for West and East African HMS with CI-GI rose to $380-390/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. HMS 1&2 (80:20) from Australia and the UK/EU offered at $400-415/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, depending on quality and destination.
Chinese ferrous scrap purchases are expected to support prices. In China, spot iron ore 62pc traded at $175/mt cfr China on Thursday reaching an 11-year high. The resumption in Chinese billet and iron ore purchases could keep prices elevated in the coming days, said importers.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Friday, settled at $450.08/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $0.8/mt. The daily index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $416.08/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $1.73/mt. A sharp rise in freight rates on the US West Coast to Asia routes have resulted in limiting trades and supply to the subcontinental markets.