Pakistani mills were less confident of their restocking plans as the domestic steel prices, especially commercial billet, have failed to rise. Ongoing trades for billet at lower prices and the flat market for rebar resulted in very limited trades for imported ferrous scrap.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, rose by $5.71/mt to settle at $436.43/mt cfr Port Qasim. Offers on Thursday jumped to $435-440/mt cfr Port Qasim for UK/EU-origin shredded. Most suppliers’ are either holding offers or asking high ahead of holidays starting from Dec 21. No confirmed deals for shredded reported on Thursday above $425-430/mt cfr Qasim as mills continue to resist high offers despite a $10-15/mt rise in Turkish bulk prices, said a mill owner.
The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $415/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $8/mt from Wednesday. On Thursday, offers for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from Kuwait and Dubai-based traders heard at $415-418/mt cfr Qasim amid rising competition from Indian mills to secure material. Dubai suppliers anticipate that there will be a further rise in enquiries for HMS scrap when the suppliers from the US and Europe will be off for their winter break. UAE-based suppliers are holding on to their material amid expectations of higher prices. Rebar prices in the UAE firmed up prompting higher domestic scrap demand.
Offers for Dubai-origin containerized mixed #1 HMS and P&S sarya rose above $420-425/mt cfr Port Qasim due to which mills dropped restocking plans. Harsh winter in many rural regions of the country has halted construction, while large infra projects catered by leading steelmakers are witnessing cash flow issues. Offers for Busheling scrap were above $455-460/mt cfr Qasim with limited interest
Billet moves sideways
Despite a sharp rise in imported scrap offers, domestic Bala billet prices moved sideways with trades at PKR92,500-93,000/mt ($578-582/mt) ex-works Punjab on Thursday. Many traders and stockists offered discounts to encourage sales. Steel demand remains unsupportive of production ramps. Many small mills could also cut production in winter.
In the southern region, rebar prices rose but are still below the offers from major mills. Rebar traded at PKR118,000-120,000/mt ex-works Karachi. In Punjab, G-60 rebar prices heard at PKR115,000-116,000/mt ex-works.
Prices for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S rose to PKR73,500-74,000/mt ex-works Lahore. Trades for the Pure Q Toke (shredded) heard at stable PKR75,000-75,500/mt ($457-461/mt) ex-yards on Thursday, with offers above PKR75,500/mt ex-yards. In the shipbreaking market, scrapped tankers and container offers stabilised at $400-410/ldt cfr Pakistan.