Pakistani mills booked limited volumes of imported ferrous scrap amid bullish offers boosted by a rise in bulk demand from Turkey and Asian markets. Despite stringent restrictions on the movement of people and goods in the country, manufacturing remains unaffected in Pakistan.
Higher Chinese steel prices turned Pakistan mills optimistic of a price rise in the domestic market. Traders expect mills to restock scrap in the coming days amid low inventories.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Monday, settled at $471.25/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $3.3/mt from Thursday. Offers for the UK/EU origin materials increased to $475-480/mt cfr Qasim on Monday, but hardly any deal was reported above $470/mt cfr Qasim. Buyers accepted $470-471/mt cfr Qasim offers from the US.
In Turkey, the little impact of a lockdown starting from April 29 to May 17 was seen on manufacturing activities. Most mills including ICDAS, Bastug have announced another price hike of $40-50/mt for rebar, effective Monday. The index for bulk US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose to $448.4/mt cfr Turkey, rising over $15/mt from the prior Monday. Demand is likely to pick up further in the coming days.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Monday, gained $3.75/mt to $448.75/mt cfr Port Qasim. Trades reported in the range $448-450/mt cfr Qasim. Most US suppliers are preparing for bullish demand in the domestic market in May and are likely to prefer domestic trades over seaborne trades amid logistic challenges.
Pakistan mills continued purchases of #1 HMS, P&S, and rerolling scrap from Dubai in limited quantities while a demand recovery in India boosted sellers’ sentiments. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $451/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $3/mt. Offers rose above $465/mt cfr Qasim on deals for UAE-origin mixed #1 HMS and P&S at $460-463/mt cfr on Monday. As inventories at mills deplete, UAE-based traders are hopeful of increased deals supported by a pick-up in steel demand post-Eid.
High scrap lifts billet
In the domestic market, Bala billet offered at PKR110,500-111,500/mt ex-works Lahore on Monday, up PKR500/mt from Friday. Offers for G-60 billet were at PKR115,500-116,000/mt ex-works Punjab on Monday, up PKR500-1,000/mt.
Long steel producers in Punjab and Karachi are optimistic about steel demand post-Eid. For rebar, offers were at PKR135,500-136,000/mt ex-works Karachi and PKR132,000/mt ex-works Punjab. Local rebar sold at PKR121,000/mt ex-works Punjab. With improvement in demand, most steelmakers are likely to attempt another round of price hike in the coming days.
Driven by high imported scrap offers, Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S traded at PKR90,000/mt ex-yard Lahore. Pure Q toke scrap (equivalent to shredded) unchanged at PKR91,000-91,500/mt ex-yard Lahore. Domestic scrap supply is tight amid slow activities in the demolition market.