Pakistani mills took a breather on Thursday. Most mills refused to place bids for imported ferrous scrap amid falling prices in both major bulk markets, Turkey and Japan. Trades have paused in the containers market. A few yards held offers firm while some lowered to check buyer’s interest.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, dropped by $5.75/mt to $420/mt cfr Port Qasim. Although offers remained stable, mills decided not to place counter bids. A trader offered shredded at $420-425/mt cfr Qasim to check buying appetite but deals failed to materialise.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $386.43/mt cfr Port Qasim, down $1.07/mt from Wednesday. There is a possibility of a drop in the US ferrous scrap prices in February amid easing supply on improved collection rates. Traders from UAE offered #1 HMS and P&S at $390-395/mt cfr Port Qasim depending on quality. A few bids for HMS 1&2 (80:20) heard at $375-380/mt cfr Port Qasim, but mills preferred other grades like shredded and busheling in Pakistan.
Domestic steel prices rise
Domestic steel and ferrous scrap prices in Pakistan moved up despite a fall imported scrap offers. Suppliers resisted lower bids extending the standoff between buyers and sellers.
On Thursday, domestic Bala billet traded at PKR98,000-99,000/mt ex-works Lahore, up by PKR1,000-2,000/mt from Wednesday.
Domestic Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S was offered at PKR80,500-81,000/mt ex-works Lahore, while Pure Q Toke (shredded) traded at PKR82,500-83,000/mt ex-yards.
Since early this week, domestic steel prices rose by PKR2,000-3,000/mt as cash strapped mills cancelled discounts to increase cash flow and clear utility bills by month-end. Limited supply and rising demand pushed domestic scrap up in Pakistan amid overall positive sentiment.
Asking rates for G-60 rebar stable at PKR130,000-135,000/mt ex-works, while local rebar traded at PKR112,000-113,000/mt ex-works. A few mills held their retail prices but offered discounted rates to gain market share.