Indian imported ferrous scrap demand is expected to turn active in the coming days as domestic ferrous scrap and sponge iron prices have surged resulting in narrowing the gap between domestic scrap and imported offers. Indian buyers opted for lower-priced scrap grades or domestic alternatives last week. However, with depleting scrap inventories at mills and indications of a bullish trend in January, trades are likely to resume in India.
On Monday, billet prices jumped by Rs1,000-1,200/mt from Thursday. This has pushed up inquiries and bids by $25-30/mt, lowering the gap between offers and bids.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Monday settled at $462.14/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $5/mt from Thursday in absence of major trades. Most suppliers went silent for the year-ending holidays while a few offers for shredded from the US and Europe/UK rose above $470-475/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. There is also a possibility of higher freight rates in the coming days.
The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) Monday rose by $4/mt from Thursday cfr Nhava Sheva to $444/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Dubai-based suppliers offered #1 HMS at $450-455/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, but buyers bid $435-440/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
In Mandi, North India, domestic ingot prices on Monday surpassed Rs40,000/mt ($544/mt) ex-works with a possibility of hike in the next few days. HMS 1&2 (80:20) prices on Monday reported at Rs30,000/mt ($408/mt) delivered consumer up Rs500/mt in Mumbai and Rs29,100/mt delivered consumer up Rs1,200/mt in Mandi.
In Turkey, bulk HMS 1&2 (80:20) offers remained in the range $475-480/mt cfr Turkey. A bullish Turkey market sent reverberations to the South Asian markets with international ferrous scrap prices at almost 9.5-year high. This caused a few buyers in India to stay away and wait for a correction on expectation of a 2008-like crash in the coming days.
The daily Davis Index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $445.36/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $5.36/mt. The index surged by $35/mt in the last 10 days, following global cues. The absence of new offers and indications of a stronger domestic market in January aided prices. Buyers have turned silent and postponed restocking amid firm offers.
China is expected to start imports of ferrous scrap under the ‘recycled raw material’ category from Jan 1 with zero import duty on steel scrap. This is likely to boost market sentiment and increase inquiries from Chinese mills.
Billet exports resume
Many Indian billet producers resumed exports late last week. An induction furnace maker sold 15,000mt of 3sp billet at $580/mt fob India to an African buyer. Offers for the same were as high as $610-620/mt cfr South Asia to Philippines and Thailand pushing Indian mills to target above $585-595/mt fob India on Monday. A strengthening billet export market could support scrap imports into India.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Monday, settled at $459.8/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $2.82/mt from Thursday. The Davis Index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose to $445.23/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $5.31/mt from Thursday. International containerized freight prices continued to trend up amid a shortage of containers in Asia. Many shipping lines have taken time-off, pausing loading activities for the New Year holidays.