Pakistani mills held back purchases of imported ferrous scrap until the price hikes for finished steel get absorbed in the local market. On Thursday, mills were not willing to accept present offers and only a few bids were being countered in the market. Typical of month-ending trend, they focused on settling electricity and utility bills.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, inched up by $0.05/mt to $460.88/mt cfr Port Qasim. Most traders held offers at $465-470/mt cfr Qasim, expecting better prices for shredded in Pakistan. High electricity tariffs and ferrous scrap prices kept profits under pressure for most mills, creating a liquidity crunch again.
As Chinese billet and HRC prices increassed, Pakistani mills announced price hikes for HRC. A few mills might accept higher offers as they might restock ferrous scrap ahead of the holy month of Ramadan in April.
Despite a hike in asking rates to offset the recent power tariff hike, rebar deals continued at lower-than-desired levels. Possibility of slowing demand at higher offers forced few mills to accept orders at discounted rates.
Offers for rebar on Thursday remained in the range PKR132,000-135,000/mt ex-works Karachi, while in Punjab it was in the range of PKR128,000-130,000/mt ex-works. Rebar prices could rise by PKR5,000-7,000/mt to be in sync with imported scrap, said a trader.
In Turkey, the daily index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) jumped by $8.2/mt to settle at $453/mt cfr Turkey on Wednesday. Amid rising rebar prices in domestic market due to currency volatility, Turkish mills are expected to book the remaining of April shipments keeping prices on the higher side. Offers have already reached $455-460/mt cfr Turkey.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $425/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $0.36/mt from Wednesday amid firm offers and a healthy domestic outlook for March. A few exporters offered containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $425-430/mt cfr Port Qasim but buyers’ interest was limited due to long transit period.
Following global trend, offers for #1 HMS and P&S from UAE remained elevated at $440-445/mt cfr Port Qasim depending on quality. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $425/mt cfr Port Qasim on Thursday.
Billet prices on an uptrend
On Thursday, Bala billet prices in the domestic market maintained an uptrend reaching PKR102,500-103,000/mt ex-works. Offers for Art Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S Thursday were at PKR80,500-81,000/mt ex-yard Lahore. Trades for Pure Q Toke equivalent to shredded was reported at PKR81,700-82,000/mt ex-yards, stable from Tuesday.
Shipbreaking scrap equivalent P&S traded at PKR85,000/mt ex-yards on Thursday. For shipbreakers, offers for vessels were in the range $440-450/ldt amid improving sentiments. Availability of shipbreaking melting scrap at $15-20/mt less encouraged buyers to prefer it over imported scrap.