Pakistani steel mills have shown little interest in booking ferrous scrap. Along with the Ramadan lull, softness in Turkish bulk prices discouraged them from booking more scrap. Limited working hours, a thin workforce and strict social distancing norms have also impacted trading and transportation activities.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, settled at $457.25/mt cfr Port Qasim, down $2.25/mt from Tuesday. After deals for EU/UK origin shredded at $457-458/mt cfr Qasim, bids dropped to $455/mt cfr Qasim and below on Wednesday. Pakistani mills hope for prices to fall as the Turkish bulk market softens. In Turkey, a new bulk deal was heard to have closed at levels lower than $5-7/mt than Tuesday’s offers.
The daily Index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, dropped by $1.79/mt to $435.37/mt cfr Port Qasim from Tuesday. Offers firm at $440-445/mt cfr Qasim citing tight container availability, however, mills showed no interest for HMS above $430-435/mt cfr Qasim from countries with longer transit. As most buyers are targeting deliveries close to Eid when steel demand is expected to rise, they are avoiding longer transit destination which will arrive post-monsoon.
Most UAE-based sellers stayed away from the market as they refused to match lower bids. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $440/mt cfr Port Qasim, down by $4/mt. Trades for mixed #1 HMS and P&S from UAE dropped further to $450-455/mt cfr Port Qasim, depending on quality.
HRC prices surge on bullish global cues
On April 19, flat steel producers including Aisha, International and Hadeed steel hiked prices of cold-rolled (CR) and hot-dip galvanized (HDG) upto PKR5,000/mt ($33/mt) compared to the previous offers on April 13. CRC prices for medium thickness rose upto PKR168,000-170,000/mt ex-works.
Domestic billet inches down, rebar up
On Wednesday, Bala billet offers were at PKR109,000/mt ex-works Lahore, marginally down by PKR500/mt from Tuesday. Offers for G-60 billet were at PKR113,000-113,500/mt ex-works Punjab, down PKR500/mt. End-users said a few stockists have started offering discounts to encourage sales of finished steel. Restricted cash flow also impacted trades.
Long steel producers in Punjab and Karachi kept offers firm, while many small-scale steelmakers have announced annual maintenance amid weak domestic demand. Local rebar offers moved marginally up with a few activities ramped up. Offers were at PKR120,000-121,000/mt ex-works Punjab while G-60 grade traded at PKR131,500-132,000/mt ex-works, slightly up by PKR500-1,000/mt from the prior day.
Domestic scrap up on tight supply
Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S Wednesday was offered at PKR88,700-89,000/mt ex-yard Lahore, slightly up by PKR200-300/mt from Tuesday. Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded, traded at PKR90,500-90,800/mt ex-yard Lahore. In Gadani, demolition work slowed with the start of Ramadan as most workers have returned to their hometowns.