Pakistani steel mills lowered bids for imported ferrous scrap on slowed steel demand amid the Ramadan lull. But only a few sellers were willing to offer material in the South Asian country since other Asian buyers offered better prices.
Asking prices were elevated, also because of a rise in the cost of collection and transportation in supplier countries.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, settled at $458.75/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $1.5/mt from Wednesday. After bids of $453-455/mt cfr Qasim for EU/UK origin shredded on Wednesday, asking prices rose on Thursday following increased demand in Turkey.
UK suppliers refused to offer material at present bid levels due to devaluation of the pound against $1 to GBP0.721 from GBP0.714 on April 20 and increased containerized freight charges. In Turkey, bulk scrap prices rose by $5-7/mt to $425-427/mt cfr Turkey for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) on increased rebar exports to Asian markets.
The daily index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Thursday, was up by $1.79/mt to $437.5/mt cfr Port Qasim. Offers were firm at $440-445/mt cfr Qasim on container shortage. Most mills are looking to cater to the festive demand close to Eid and avoided booking scrap from longer transit destinations which would arrive once the monsoons begin.
UAE sellers opted to sell in Pakistan as the resurgence of the COVID-19 has dampened demand in India. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $438/mt cfr Port Qasim, down by $2/mt. Trades for mixed #1 HMS and P&S from UAE were in the range of $445-455/mt cfr Port Qasim, depending on quality.
Pakistani flat steel prices remained on an uptrend as producers including Aisha, International, and Hadeed steel hiked prices. CRC prices for medium thickness were at PKR168,000-170,000/mt ex-works.
Domestic steel prices unchanged
On Thursday, Bala billet offers were at PKR109,000-109,300/mt ex-works Lahore, marginally up by PKR200/mt from Wednesday. Offers for G-60 billet were unchanged at PKR113,000-113,500/mt ex-works Punjab. Some stockists have lowered discounts expecting an improvement in finished steel demand.
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 remained elevated with construction activities ramped up. Offers were at PKR120,000-121,000/mt ex-works Punjab. Deals for G-60 grade were at PKR131,500-132,000/mt ex-works, prices unchanged from the prior day.
Domestic scrap up on tight supply
Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S Thursday was offered at PKR88,700-89,000/mt ex-yard Lahore, up by PKR200-300/mt from a day ago. Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded, traded at PKR90,500-90,800/mt ex-yard Lahore. In Gadani, demolition work has slowed with the start of Ramadan since mid-April. Recyclers are not keen on offers of $490-500/ldt for scrapped vessels.