The weekly Davis Index for basic pig iron (BPI) cfr New Orleans slipped by $2/mt to $566/mt on Friday following sales activity into the US, China, Italy, and Turkey.
A month-long silence in the metallics trade was finally broken this week when two south Brazil producers bowed to market pressure and accepted high-phosphorous basic pig iron sales into the US at fob Brazil prices of $500/mt on Monday, followed by a sale at $510/mt fob on Tuesday.
China was quick to react and booked a large pig iron cargo out of East Russia at $550/mt cfr, or $530/mt fob, at a time when previous offers were at least $10/mt higher.
Other pig iron producers in Russia and Ukraine refused to lower prices and by Friday, bid-offer levels to China had passed $560/mt cfr.
Italy and Turkey also booked several 5,000-7,000-mt sized vessels this week at price levels of $567-568/mt cfr Italy and $445-450/mt fob Black Sea port.
Domestic prime scrap is extremely tight in the US, steel output is soaring, and domestic prices for prime grades are expected to rise in April, which has led pig iron producers and traders to become extremely bullish on pig iron.
Spot pig iron trade by barge out of New Orleans hit $575/mt this week and new offers have already surged past that level.
All of this plays into sellers’ hands as they know mills won’t want to get caught short on metallics when primes are tight and raw metal spreads are at all-time highs.
Still, some buyers have said they will push to curb momentum and hope to keep prices steady if they fail to book material at prices below $560/mt cfr Nola.
The Davis Index for nodular pig iron (NPI) imports remains unchanged at $650/mt cfr Nola. Offers and availability are limited for the material with no recent activity reported. Recent offers heard for NPI remain between $650-680/mt cfr Nola with bid levels just under the range.
The weekly Davis Index for US hot briquetted iron (HBI) imports was flat at $425/mt cfr Nola. Offers or bids have not been heard recently however the material’s unchanged price valuation is based on price movements occurring for similar grades along with the most recent consumer interest levels.
The weekly Davis Index for basic pig iron fob Black Sea port settled at $536/mt, down by $4/mt from the prior week, and the weekly index for pig iron cif Italy stayed unchanged at $568/mt cif Italy.