Imported ferrous scrap prices in Pakistan were firm for shredded and higher grades but for HMS prices dipped by another $3-5/mt amid slow demand. Rebar and HRC prices increased on currency depreciation, however, overall slow demand is discouraging steel mills to buy scrap.
The Pakistani rupee continued to be under pressure and traded at PKR167.14 against the US dollar on Thursday. It has depreciated over 3pc in a month which resulted in successive upticks in domestic finished steel prices.
As domestic steel prices strengthened, sellers were hopeful that Pakistani mills will accept higher prices and kept offers firm. The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded on Thursday settled at $523/mt cfr Qasim, up $0.5/mt. Most offers from the EU and UK at $525/mt cfr Port Qasim anticipating another round of freight hikes by shipping lines.
In Turkey, bids for the US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) dipped slightly to $445/mt cfr Turkey, following a slide in billet and rebar prices.
Low bids from Indian mills pressured UAE origin containerized HMS offers. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) inched down by $2/mt to $485/mt cfr port Qasim. Trades for UAE-origin mixed #1 HMS and P&S heard at $500-505/mt cfr Port Qasim.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) Thursday settled at $485/mt cfr Port Qasim, down $1.25/mt from a day prior. Some sellers were under pressure amid anticipation of a possible dip in September domestic monthly scrap prices in the US. Market participants foresee deals to open at $20-40/gt lower than the prior month. The impact of tropical storm Ida is also expected to affect scrap generation and transportation for a while in some regions.
In Punjab, rebar asking prices by branded suppliers Thursday settled unchanged at PKR175,000-176,000/mt ex-works. Local rebar prices, however, dropped to PKR157,000-158,000/mt ex-works amid weak construction demand.
Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) urged the government to initiate strict action against high steel and cement prices. Continuous increases in raw material prices could negatively impact the construction industry and slow down the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.
Similarly, asking rates for domestic Bala billet fell to PKR140,500-141,000/mt ex-works, down PKR1,000/mt from a day prior. Domestic scrap Art Q toke scrap (equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S) remains unchanged at PKR109,500-110,000/mt ex-yards while Pure Q toke scrap (equivalent to shredded) at PKR112,000-112,500/mt ex-yard Lahore, respectively, amid tight supply and surge in demand.