Pakistan ferrous scrap importers were mostly away from the trades amid growing uncertainty and high offers. No significant trades were reported while a few buyers booked as per their immediate requirements.
South Asian markets are struggling with the resurgence of COVID-19 and dampening demand. Buyers were reluctant to book materials amid slow finished steel demand and newly imposed restrictions.
Pakistan Steel Mills has dismissed another 500 of its employees amid huge financial crisis, according to local media. The foundry has been closed since 2015 as its deficit had reached PKR212bn by June 30, 2020. There were strike in some regions of Pakistan, which kept trades suspended.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Tuesday, settled at $464.33/mt cfr Port Qasim down $0.17/mt from Monday. There are hardly any new deals ahead of the holy month of Ramadan. Amid sharp rise in COVID-19 infections, labours have refused to work full time in many states.
Containerized freight rates have marginally adjusted this week though availability is still tight.
The Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers (PALSP) has urged the government to not increase power tariffs for the steel sector. The government has planned an increase of 5pc before October 2021. According to IMF’s suggestion, the announcement of an increase of PKR65 per unit has been put forward which could lift the cost of electricity by up to 36pc.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Tuesday, settled unchanged at $438.75/mt cfr Port Qasim. Offers at $440-445/mt cfr Qasim while mills were largely inclined to purchase short transit UAE-origin HMS.
Trades for mixed #1 HMS and P&S from UAE remained stable at $450-455/mt cfr Port Qasim, depending on quality. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $443/mt cfr Port Qasim unchanged in absence of major trades. Offers remained high amid short supply and higher domestic rebar prices.
Domestic trades slows
On stable demand, prices for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S, Tuesday, reported at PKR87,000-87,500/mt ex-yard Lahore. Trades for Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded were at PKR88,500-89,000/mt ex-yard Lahore.
Trades for bala billet and G-60 billet were halted. Offers on Monday were at PKR108,000-108,500/mt ex-works Lahore. Those for G-60 billet was stable at PKR112,500-113,000/mt ex-works Punjab.
Long steelmakers in Punjab and Karachi kept offers firm, despite weak demand. Rebar offers remained at PKR135,000-136,000/mt, ex-works Karachi, while in Punjab, rebar traded at PKR131,000/mt ex-works Punjab.