Pakistani mills were back in the market for ferrous scrap as their inventories depleted. Buyers spent the last week in a wait-and-watch mode as it was unclear if Turkish mills would accept the present offer levels or not. Trades in Pakistan are expected to increase in the coming days. Major shipping lines have decided to lower the number of free days at some destinations, particularly in Asia, effective Jan 1, 2021, to deal with the shortage of containers. Mediterranean Shipping Company has lowered free days to 12 days in India and Pakistan; and 10 days in Bangladesh from the earlier 14 days.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, rose by $0.36/mt to settle at $401.75/mt cfr Port Qasim. A couple of deals for the UK/EU origin shredded were at $399-403/mt cfr Port Qasim. Offers then rose to $405-410/mt cfr Port Qasim. A few large mills have tonnages in hand and could slow down purchases till prices cool-off. A deal for 4a/4c (busheling) bundles concluded at $405/mt cfr Qasim. Supply remains tight with many European suppliers and they could close yards earlier than previously scheduled mid-December for the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $377/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $3/mt from prior Tuesday. Limited trades were at $375-380/mt cfr Port Qasim. Dubai-origin containerized mixed #1 HMS and P&S sarya scrap was offered at $385-390/mt cfr Port Qasim. A widening gap between shredded and HMS, which is presently at $25/mt, could result in more deals for HMS scrap in the coming days.
The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $377.14/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $1.93/mt from Tuesday. Finished steel prices are strong in Turkey, the US, and the CIS region. Thus, offers for Chinese HRC were also bullish at $625-635/mt cfr Pakistan.
Domestic steel prices mixed
In the domestic market, Bala billet prices were unchanged from Tuesday with trades at PKR93,500-94,000/mt ($590-595/mt) ex-works Punjab. Rebar makers kept offers firm, looking to pass on the increased input cost to end-users, despite weak demand.
In the southern region, trades for rebar have started recovering with prices at PKR114,500-115,000/mt ex-works Karachi. In Punjab, G-60 rebar prices were flat at PKR113,500-114,000/mt ex-works. Many mills are eyeing to raise offers further by PKR1,000-1,500/mt ex-works.
Prices for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S were flat at PKR73,000/mt ex-works Lahore. Trades for the Pure Q Toke (shredded) were heard at PKR74,000-74,500/mt ex-yards, with then offers rising to PKR75,000/mt ex-yards.
For shipbreakers, offers of scrapped tankers and containers were at $420-430/ldt cfr Pakistan on Wednesday, with a possibility of another $10-15/ldt hike.