Mills in Pakistan slowed inquiries for imported scrap as they await more clarity on the global price direction. Buyers resisted present offer levels, while some sought distressed suppliers for price advantage.
Opinions on the Turkish bulk market price direction were divided on Thursday.
National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), the body leading Pakistan’s COVID-19 control strategy, announced a fresh set of restrictions for major cities across the country. Amid a fourth wave of the pandemic, these restrictions could last till the end of the month.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Wednesday, notified the fixed value of steel products for assessment of sales tax through SRO 985. The value of steel bars and other long profiles is fixed at PKR140,000/mt, steel billets at PKR125,000/mt, steel ingots/Bala, ship plats at PKR120,000/mt, and other re-rollable iron and steel scrap at PKR118,000/mt. To avoid under-invoicing, the minimum sale price for finished items was fixed. This move could boost prices.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, dropped $1/mt to settle at $530/mt cfr Port Qasim. Bids dropped to $525-528/mt cfr Qasim, while sellers kept asking prices at $530-532/mt cfr. Restocking could pick up in the coming days amid low inventories. On elevated freight rates, traders found it difficult to match present bids.
Sellers in the UAE continued to offer HMS scrap to Pakistan amid steady demand. Bids from Indian buyers are at least $20/mt below those from Pakistan. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) inched up by $1/mt to $493/mt cfr port Qasim. Trades for UAE-origin mixed #1 HMS and P&S were unchanged at $505-510/mt cfr Port Qasim.
In China, iron ore futures declined by 6pc due to stricter decarbonization targets for all steel producers by the government.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Thursday, settled unchanged at $487.5/mt cfr Port Qasim. As the August monthly settlements opened with prices for obsolete grades down $20/nt in the US domestic market, HMS supply could ease in the coming days. Prices for prime grades, however, have remained unchanged on tight supply.
In a silent market, domestic Bala billet prices were unchanged at PKR136,000-136,500/mt ex-works. Offers for Art Q toke scrap (equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S) were at PKR107,000-107,500/mt ex-yard Lahore. Rebar asking rates from large-scale steelmakers were above PKR168,000/mt ex-works. The Pakistani currency remained depreciated, offering an upward push to steel prices.