Few containerised bookings heard from South Korean mills following a rise in imported scrap prices to Taiwan and a shortage of containers at the USWC. Leading steelmakers bought bulk cargoes last week and are negotiating for more shipments amid tight domestic scrap supply. Traders opine mills could announce bids for Japanese scrap late this week, while Hyundai bids remained flat at JPY40,000/mt ($361/mt) fob on Wednesday.
South Korean mills are waiting for steel prices to stabilise in China before they book more scrap from the seaborne markets. Offers rose on rising freight rates, vessel delays and shortage. Many traders said there is very limited downside left and scrap prices are nearing their bottom in Asia. Prices could rise led by a recovery in demand before they drop again from mid-April when Ramadan lull weighs in.
Mills stayed away from containerised purchases and preferred negotiating for bulks. A major mill booked bulk tonnages for Russian A3 scrap at $425/mt cfr this week.
Many US-based exporters are worried about supplying containerised scrap on schedule due to the low availability of empty containers. Amid rising freight rates, suppliers hope scrap prices rise further.
The Davis Index for containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, rose by $17/mt from the prior week to settle at $402/mt cfr South Korea with limited deals heard at index price. Bids rose by $15-17/mt to $400-402/mt cfr South Korea, with few offers active at $410/mt. Most traders and sellers are not able to get material due to rising offers. A few suppliers, who are trying to clear off inventory, sold material while the rest resisted lower bids.
The Davis Indexes for P&S 5ft and #1 HMS, Wednesday, rose by $16/mt and $20/mt from prior Wednesday to $429/mt and $411/mt cfr South Korea, respectively. The index for shredded rose by $12/mt to $415/mt from the prior week.
Domestic scrap prices in South Korea trended up with mills having limited inventory as bids rose KRW2,500-12,500/mt ($2-11/mt) effective Monday.
The weekly Davis Index for domestic Heavy A rose by KRW12,500/mt to KRW425,000/mt ($374/mt) and by KRW5,000/mt to KRW435,000/mt delivered Incheon and Pohang, respectively. Mills are cautiously buying scrap amid volatile scrap prices, globally.