Pakistani mills continued restocking ferrous scrap despite high prices. However, trades lose momentum on Tuesday compared to last week on a limited domestic steel support. With large steelmakers intending to raise steel prices, sales are expected to remain slow for the next few days. Following global cues, scrap suppliers kept offers high.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Tuesday, increased by $4.86/mt at $508.13/mt cfr Port Qasim. The index has gained $35-40/mt from January 1 till date. Offers on Tuesday were at $510-515/mt cfr Qasim with no new deals reported at those levels. Around 1,000mt of UK and EU-origin shredded in containers was sold at $508/mt cfr Qasim.
Amid container shortages, higher freight charges have spiked the landed cost of imported ferrous scrap in Pakistan. Availability and scrap generation in Europe is impacted by latest lockdowns.
US and European suppliers continued to focus on the domestic market where demand is bullish. The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $460/mt cfr Port Qasim, flat on Tuesday in absence of major deals.
UAE suppliers offered #1 HMS to Pakistani buyers at $460/mt cfr Port Qasim while offers for containers of mixed #1 HMS and P&S sarya on Monday were above $460/mt cfr Qasim. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $454/mt cfr Port Qasim, down $1/mt. The drop in domestic steel prices in India pulled bids down from Indian buyers for UAE materials, which in turn could be beneficial for Pakistan buyers who opted to wait for price direction.
Steel prices down on sluggish sales
Domestic steel prices, which had jumped within a short span, lost steam this week. Despite high imported scrap prices, a few mills started offering at discounted prices on Tuesday. Billet prices dropped with the winter season leading to production cuts in a few regions. On Tuesday, prices for domestic Bala billets were at PKR105,000-106,000/mt ex-works Lahore.
In Karachi, major rebar makers kept their asking rates stable amid high ferrous scrap prices in the international market. A major mill kept G-60 rebar asking rates for 12-32mm at PKR135,000-135,500/mt ($840-841/mt) ex-works. Local rebar offered at PKR115,000-116,000/mt ex-works.
Domestic scrap lose steam
On Tuesday, local Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S offered at PKR84,500-85,000/mt ex-yard Lahore. Pure Q Toke (shredded) offered at PKR86,000-86,500/mt ex-yards, down PKR1000/mt from Monday.
For shipbreakers, offers for scrapped vessels remained higher than workable ranges. Most opted not to conclude deals amid cash issues at present levels of $455-465/ldt cfr Pakistan.