On Monday, suppliers, as well as buyers, preferred to wait for clarity as there was no rush to book materials. Mills continue to resist high offers while suppliers stayed confident that mills will eventually pay up in the coming days. Mills were able to sell rebar at higher prices, albeit in limited quantities. In November, imported scrap prices have trended up by $35/mt in line with global cues.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Monday, gained by $2.8/mt from Friday to settle at $364.23/mt cfr Port Qasim. The prices have reached a two-year high. Shredded prices jumped amid few trades for containerized EU and UK-origin shredded at $363-365/mt cfr Port Qasim. Most US suppliers refused to place fresh offers due to depleting stocks. Yards are expecting lowered collections rates as winter approaches. A few shredded offers were at $365-370/mt cfr Port Qasim on Monday with the buyer in wait and watch mode.
On rising inquiries and short supply, the Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled Monday at $349/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $5/mt from Friday. All traders who had secured materials around a month ago at lower prices are offering HMS 1&2 (80:20) above $350/mt cfr Qasim as Indian buyers are likely to stay active. Pakistan mills preferred shredded over HMS scrap to avoid paying extra taxes imposed on the imports of the latter. Trades for containerized Dubai-origin mixed #1 HMS and P&S sarya scrap were reported above $350/mt cfr Port Qasim.
The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Friday, settled at $345.93/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $3.43/mt from Monday. Containerized offers for the grade from the US and UK were limited in anticipation of a bullish December market. Most European supplier countries are under lockdown amid rising COVID-19 cases. In Pakistan too, schools are supposed to close due to rising tally, disruption in normal activities to keep sentiments dull.
In Pakistan, although mega infrastructure projects have resumed, the pace of work is slow and rebar demand has remained flat for over a month-and-half. Few steelmakers, however, announced price hikes for rebar to pass high input costs.
There were no offers from the South African suppliers for containerized ferrous scrap. ITAC has decided to ban exports of containers from South Africa to support the domestic industry.
Rebar prices stay strong on high scrap
In the domestic market, Bala billet prices were at PKR92,500-92,700/mt ($575-578/mt) ex-works Punjab on Monday. Rebar prices in the Southern region remained stable after rising PKR2,000/mt to PKR111,500/mt ex-works Karachi. In Punjab, G-60 rebar prices were at PKR109,500-110,000/mt ex-works on Monday. All mills have cancelled discounts on finished steel amid a cash crunch.
The Pakistani currency depreciated to PKR160.93 against the US dollar after reaching the 158 marks last week, limiting imports this week.
In the northern region, the local government has imposed restrictions on some secondary rolling mills and furnaces, especially those without smog or carbon emission control machinery. The index for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to mix HMS and P&S was at PKR70,500/mt ex-works Lahore, unchanged from late last week. The weekly index for Pure Q Toke (shredded) too, remained at PKR71,500/mt ex-works in line with higher imported scrap prices.