Domestic and export ferrous scrap prices in Japan declined from a week ago. Sluggish finished steel demand in most Asian domestic markets kept buyers away from seaborne ferrous scrap markets. Tokyo Steel reduced domestic scrap prices at Utsunomiya works in Kanto by JPY1000/mt ($9.6/mt). Revised bid for #2 HMS was at JPY42,000/mt ($404/mt) del Utsunomiya on Wednesday. Prices at other works were unchanged. In the monthly Kanto export tender announced on Wednesday, 15000mt of #2 HMS was sold for February shipment at JPY44,751/mt fas, up by $58/mt from average bids in the December tender.
After some deals in early January for Japan-origin scrap, Chinese mills have stayed away from booking material against sellers’ anticipation. Rising COVID-19 cases in Hebei, a major steel-producing region, and cold weather in the northern region impacted trading. Construction activity has dipped and inventories with mills are on a rise.
But the decline in Japanese scrap prices could be short-lived and in February, a shortage of scrap globally and an increase in finished steel demand may lift prices.
The weekly Davis Index for Japanese #2 HMS fell by JPY1,250/mt to JPY41,750/mt fas. In the export market, the weekly index for the grade fell by JPY675/mt to JPY43,575/mt fob Japan with bids at JPY43,000/mt fob. Deals for 30,000mt #2 HMS were heard for a South Korean mill on Friday at JPY43000/mt fob.
Bids for Japanese #1 busheling (Shindachi) fell to JPY46,000/mt fob from JPY47,000/mt a week ago. The weekly index for the grade fell by JPY1,000/mt at JPY45,000/mt fas and by JPY1,250/mt at JPY46,500/mt fob Japan. Mills lowered their bids as they hope for a further decline in prices.
The weekly Davis Index for HS and shredded grade fell by JPY1,375/mt and JPY500/mt to JPY44,500/mt fas, respectively.
Deals for HS and busheling were heard on Friday at JPY49,000/mt cfr Korea and JPY49,500/mt cfr Korea, respectively.
In the Kanto region, the Davis Index for #1 HMS fell by JPY950/mt to JPY43,125/mt fas from the prior week and by JPY675/mt to JPY43,575/mt fob Japan.
Deals for HMS 1&2 (50:50) were at $460-463/mt cfr Taiwan this week, and the index for the grade fell by $1/mt to $463/mt cfr Taiwan.
In Vietnam, the index for Japanese HMS 1&2 (50:50) fell by $5/mt to $463/mt cfr on bids declining from the prior week by an equal amount to $460/mt cfr.
Taiwanese and South Korean buyers lowered their bids by $10/mt and $5/mt, respectively, for US-origin material. But US yards refused to accept their bid levels as they were bullish after Turkish mills lifted their prices for seaborne scrap by $2/mt to $482.5/mt cfr Turkey. Trades for containerized US-origin shredded were heard at $505/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $10/mt. The two East Asian countries have thus chosen to negotiate with Japanese sellers.