Imported ferrous scrap sellers in Pakistan showed resistance to accept low bids and held offers higher by a minimum of $10/mt than buyers’ expectations. A few panic sales were reported early in the week but following the drop in bulk prices to Bangladeshi and Korean mills, Pakistani buyers decided to hold major deals. Trades may pick up next week before the slowdown in Ramadan starting April 12.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Friday, settled at $427.50/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $1.14/mt from Thursday. The index inched down by $3.75/mt from the prior week. A few distressed sales in thin volumes reported in the range of $425-430/mt cfr Qasim. Most sellers expect offers to be above $430-435/mt cfr despite mills’ expectations of $415-420/mt cfr Qasim.
In Turkey, with the news of a couple of small volume cargoes from the Baltic and Russia origin sold at around $400/mt cfr Turkey, the index for HMS 1&2 (80:20), Thursday, fell by $3.25/mt to $425/mt cfr Turkey, while prices dropped by $22/mt from a week earlier.
Bookings could halt towards the end of April due to limited operations during Ramadan resulting in a further downtrend in prices. With loaded materials arriving next week, prices could hit the bottom, believe traders.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Friday, settled at $412.5/mt cfr Port Qasim, down $2.5/mt from Thursday. Prices dropped by $10/mt from a week prior. A sharp drop in fas and fob offers from the US and UK suppliers pulled down sentiments. Buyers were keen to get material booked at the earliest to receive deliveries latest by early April and avoid transportation delays during Ramadan.
Hoping that prices have neared the bottom, offers for #1 HMS and P&S from UAE remained in the range of $415-420/mt cfr Port Qasim, depending on quality. The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $405/mt cfr Port Qasim, down by $3/mt from a week earlier.
The Davis Indexes for P&S 5ft and #1 busheling settled at $440/mt and $455/mt cfr Port Qasim, marginally down $2/mt respectively. Sellers are struggling with the non-availability of containers and margin squeeze due to high freight rates.
Billet prices reverse post-mid-week
On Friday, Bala billet traded at PKR105,000-105,500/mt ex-works up from the PKR104,000/mt ex-works recorded mid-week. On a weekly basis, the index for domestic Bala billet drop by PKR1,250/mt to PKR105,000/mt ($674/mt) ex-works. Downstream industries await a drop in steel prices to resume trade. HRC makers, however, remained upbeat amid rising demand, globally.
The Davis Index for G-60 billet settled at PKR110,500/mt, down PKR2,500/mt ex-works Punjab. Demand is expected to pick up gradually ahead of Ramadan and continuous recovery in infrastructure projects.
Asking rates for rebar dropped amid the increasing availability of discounted rebar in the market. The weekly Davis Index for rebar drop by PKR1,000/mt to PKR134,500/mt ex-works Karachi, while in Punjab, the index decreased by PKR2,000/mt to PKR129,500/mt ex-works. Domestic steel demand has been slower-than-expected for over a month. The availability of lower-priced steel in the Punjab market has held prices stable.
Domestic scrap drops
Following the fall in imported scrap prices, the weekly index for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S, Friday, settled down by PKR1,750/mt ($11/mt) to PKR85,500/mt ex-yard Lahore. Offers for Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded were at PKR86,000-87,000/mt ex-yard Lahore. The weekly index for the grade settled at PKR86,500/mt ex-yards, down PKR1,750/mt.
In Gadani, ship recycling yards are busy with cutting activities and offers for scrapped vessels ranged from $460-480/ldt cnf, slightly up this week.