Pakistani mills actively sought imported scrap on Thursday strengthening demand. Buyers were interested in securing material before prices move up further. Though bids moved up by more than $10/mt, the gap between offers and bids led to fewer confirmed deals.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, rose by $12.5/mt to $412.5/mt cfr Port Qasim. Most suppliers offered containerized shredded in the range $415-425/mt cfr Port Qasim. Mills bid $410-412/mt cfr Qasim but sellers refused to lower offers.
In Turkey, mills resumed bulk purchases at $10-15/mt higher than earlier deals reaching $410/mt cfr Turkey for HMS 1&2 (80:20). Yet, trades were limited as suppliers hope Chinese demand will push prices and boost steel demand, globally, post the New Year holidays.
Suppliers claim scrap collection rates are low and with limited availability at yards, prices are expected to trend up amid strong demand.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $378.75/mt cfr Port Qasim, up $8.75/mt. Sellers’ offers are at $400/mt cfr Qasim levels for March deliveries due to higher containerised freight charges.
UAE-origin HMS is trading $20/mt lower than other origins and is the most viable import option, said traders. Trades for #1 HMS and P&S of UAE-origin were at $380/mt cfr Port Qasim, depending on quality. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Thursday, rose by $8/mt to $376/mt cfr Port Qasim. UAE-based sellers refused to lower offers and hope prices would rebound once Turkish mills resume bulk trades.
Chinese steelmakers are expected to return stronger after the New Year holidays. Before closing for holidays, renewed Chinese interest in billet imports lifted market sentiment. This also indicates it is less likely that Chinese mills will export at lower prices.
A few importers prompted by a $13-15/mt jump in Chinese iron ore and HRC prices from early February are likely to accept high scrap offers.
Domestic steel sales in Pakistan remain subdued. If the availability of domestic scrap tightens, buyers would resume trades for imported scrap. For shipbreakers, scrapped vessels were offered at prices down $20-25/mt from the prior week.
In Lahore, G-60 billet traded at PKR105,000-106,000/mt ex-works. Bala billet traded at PKR96,000-97,000/mt ex-works. Offers for Art Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S at PKR79,500-80,500/mt ex-yard Lahore, up slightly from Wednesday.