The standoff between buyers and suppliers continued in Pakistan. Mills deferred purchases due to a rise in imported ferrous scrap prices, especially since they hold enough inventories. But if the supply continues to tighten, they could resume bulk inquires.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded inched up by $3.93/mt from Friday to settle at $371.07/mt cfr Port Qasim. Trades for containerized EU/UK-origin shredded were at $370-373/mt cfr Port Qasim, with offers subsequently rising above $375/mt cfr Port Qasim. A shortage of containers with shipping companies and material with yards has kept many sellers away from the market.
The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $362/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $3/mt on Monday. Trades for the grade were at $360-365/mt cfr Port Qasim. Traders who had secured materials around a month ago at lower prices are offering HMS 1&2 (80:20) even above $365/mt cfr Port Qasim, citing a bullish global market.
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 at prices above $360/mt cfr Port Qasim, unchanged from the prior week.
The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Monday, settled at $358.57/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $3.93/mt from Friday. Most US suppliers could attempt to raise asking prices this week as they return after the Thanksgiving holidays.
There were no offers from containerized scrap from South Africa as their International Trade Administration Commission has decided to ban exports of ferrous scrap to support the domestic industry. Plunging collection rates are likely to keep West African suppliers away from the market, at least until January.
In the domestic market, Bala billet prices rose to PKR93,000-93,500/mt ($583-587/mt) ex-works Punjab. Trades, albeit limited, were reported for rebar in the Southern region at PKR112,500-113,000/mt ex-works Karachi. In Punjab, G-60 rebar prices were at PKR111,000-112,000/mt ex-works. Mills canceled discounts on finished steel as they face a cash crunch. A few rerolling mills in northern Pakistan are shutting down amid a cash crunch as they have failed to recover pending dues. Limited demand for finished steel has also impacted mills’ operations.
Domestic scrap prices maintained an uptrend on the back of bullish global cues. Prices for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S were at PKR71,500-72,000/mt ex-works Lahore, inching up by PKR500/mt from Friday. Trades for the Pure Q Toke (shredded) were at PKR72,800-73,200/mt ex-yards, with then offers moving up to PKR73,500/mt ex-yards.