Pakistan ferrous scrap importers were mostly away on Wednesday with the start of Ramadan. A few deals reported at slightly lowered prices, however, most offers remain high as very few suppliers were interested. Yards opted to sell in their domestic markets where demand is comparatively stronger.
Buying interest also weakened with the resurgence of COVID-19 infections. Pakistan government has warned the possibility of ‘lockdown-like-restriction’ to control the spread of the virus.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, settled at $460/mt cfr Port Qasim, down $4.33/mt from Tuesday. Trades for shredded in containers were at $460/mt cfr Qasim. A deal for 3,000mt UK/EU-origin shredded heard at $460/mt cfr Qasim. The same grade traded at $465/mt cfr Qasim last week.
Buyers were reluctant to book materials amid slow finished steel demand. Offers are expected to stay high in the coming days amid high container freights and tight availability. There is very limited downside possible and most would keep offers stable, believe traders.
The Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers (PALSP) has urged the government to not increase power tariffs for the steel sector.
The State Bank of Pakistan announced revised office and business hours during Ramadan. From Monday-Thursday, working hours would be 10am-4pm while on Friday, 10am-1pm. Amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections, labours have refused to work full time in many states.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $435/mt cfr Port Qasim. Offers at $440-445/mt cfr Qasim while mills were largely inclined to purchase short transit HMS deals.
Trades for mixed #1 HMS and P&S from UAE remained stable at around $455/mt cfr Port Qasim, depending on quality. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $440/mt cfr Port Qasim, down $3/mt in absence of major trades. But offers remained high amid short supply and higher domestic rebar prices.
Domestic trades slow
Offers for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S, Wednesday, reported stable at PKR87,000-87,500/mt ex-yard Lahore. Trades for Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded were at PKR88,500-89,000/mt ex-yard Lahore.
Trades for Bala billet and G-60 billet were halted while offers were at PKR108,000-108,500/mt ex-works Lahore. Amid transportation challenges due to increased COVID-19 restrictions, few furnaces had stopped offering finished steel in the market. Offers for G-60 billet was stable at PKR112,500-113,000/mt ex-works Punjab.
Long steelmakers in Punjab and Karachi kept offers firm, despite weak demand. Rebar offers remained around PKR135,000/mt, ex-works Karachi, while in Punjab, rebar traded at PKR131,000/mt ex-works Punjab.