Pakistani steel mills booked limited volumes of imported ferrous scrap, and prices gradually moved up this week. Amid positive market sentiment, buyers could accept the rising price levels. Although there are stringent movement restrictions in the country, manufacturing remains unaffected.
Suppliers were bullish on expectations of firm steel prices as China lowered export rebates on around 146 steel products. In Gadani, ship demolition has slowed after offers for scrapped ships increased.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, settled at $467.95/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $1.16/mt. Offers then increased to $470-475/mt cfr Qasim. From last Friday, the index rose by $7.7/mt. A few sellers who have already loaded material accepted bids of $467-470/mt cfr Qasim.
In Turkey, an announcement of lockdown from April 29 to May 17 has dampened market sentiment. But manufacturing activities are being carried out at the usual pace. The index for bulk US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled unchanged at $432/mt cfr Turkey on Wednesday. Demand is likely to pick up in May.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Thursday, gained $1.25/mt to $445/mt cfr Port Qasim. Offers were at $445-450/mt cfr Qasim depending on quality for containerized HMS. Pakistan mills continued purchases of #1 HMS, P&S, and rerolling scrap from Dubai. UK-based suppliers refused to sell at current bids due to increased containerized freight charges.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at unchanged at $448/mt cfr Port Qasim. From last Friday, the index increased by $6/mt. Deals for mixed #1 HMS and P&S from UAE were at $460/mt cfr Port Qasim despite offers of $465/mt cfr Qasim. With inventories with mills depleting, UAE traders are hopeful for increased trading amid a pick-up in steel demand post-Eid.
The Davis Index for P&S 5ft was up by $1/mt to $480/mt cfr Port Qasim; while that for busheling settled at $503/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $4/mt from prior Friday. Supply for prime grades remained tight.
Steel demand to gradually improve
In the domestic market, Bala billet traded at PKR110,000-110,500/mt ex-works Lahore. On a weekly basis, the index for domestic Bala billet rose by PKR1,250/mt to PKR110,500/mt ($719/mt) ex-works. Offers for G-60 billet were heard at PKR114,500-115,000/mt ex-works Punjab on Thursday. The weekly Davis Index for G-60 billet rose by PKR1,500/mt to PKR115,000/mt ex-works Punjab.
Some stockists have lowered discounts, expecting an improvement in finished steel demand. Long steel producers in Punjab and Karachi are also optimistic about steel demand after Eid.
The weekly Davis Indexes for rebar were unchanged at PKR135,500/mt ex-works Karachi and PKR132,000/mt ex-works Punjab. Local rebar sold at PKR120,000-121,000/mt ex-works Punjab. With improvement in demand, most steelmakers are likely to attempt another round of price hike in the coming days.
With global HRC offers increasing, Pakistani flat steel producers are mulling hikes in the coming days.
Domestic scrap rises
Driven by high imported scrap offers, the weekly index for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S, Thursday, settled at PKR90,000/mt ex-yard Lahore, up PKR500/mt.
Pure Q toke scrap (equivalent to shredded) prices rose to PKR91,000-91,500/mt ex-yard Lahore. The weekly index for the grade settled at PKR91,250/mt ex-yards, up PKR250/mt.