US containerized ferrous scrap prices continued to decline on Thursday with the spread between HMS 1&2 (80:20) and the better grades falling from $30-40/mt previously to about $25-30/mt.
Buyers were scarce and sought to close limited deals due to market uncertainty. As the week closes though, most market participants believe that the export market has bottomed and will trend up in June.
On the East Coast, most indexes softened but some grades began to see an upswing late in the week. Moreover, buying activity from India supported market prices this week. Some buyers reported achieving deals at prices that were reduced by $10/mt while others reported firm offers from sellers.
The New York weekly Davis Indexes mostly softened with shredded and P&S 5ft holding strongly to price levels. P&S 5ft dropped by $1/mt $468/mt fas while shredded trended flat at $461/mt fas. The index for #1 busheling fell by $3/mt to $494/mt fas, HMS 1&2 (80:20) dropped by $5/mt to $436/mt fas, and machine turnings, the more volatile grade, declined by $16/mt to $401/mt fas.
Market participants noted that the container market was in a holding pattern for the week with the potential to increase by next week on the return of buyers and a strong US domestic market.
Iron ore prices have firmed up and support ferrous scrap movement expectations, but the fall in Southeast billet demand, some softness and volatility in Chinese finished steel prices, and lower bids from a South Korean mill for Japanese scrap have some market participants wondering whether the increases could take several more weeks until Asian markets find more certainty.
The weekly Los Angeles containerized scrap indexes fell this week by $15-19/mt after dropping by $4-8/mt last week. The index for #1 busheling fell by $17/mt to $437/mt fas while HMS 1&2 (80:20) decreased by $15/mt to $394/mt fas. P&S 5ft and shredded both declined by $19/mt to $424/mt fas and $425/mt, respectively.
In San Francisco, the weekly indexes fell by $14-18/mt after decreasing by $3-8/mt in the prior week. HMS 1&2 (80:20) declined by $18/mt to $430/mt fas while #1 busheling fell by $14/mt to $430/mt fas. P&S 5ft decreased by $17/mt to $420/mt fas and shredded dropped by $416/mt to $423/mt.
Seattle’s weekly indexes reduced in tandem with #1 busheling falling by $15/mt to $428/mt fas and shredded declining by $17/mt to $416/mt fas. HMS 1&2 (80:20) and P&S 5ft both fell by $18/mt to $380/mt fas and $412/mt fas, respectively.