The US containerized ferrous scrap prices fell across both coasts for the third straight week with a sharper drop on the West Coast on Thursday.
West Coast containerized scrap prices plummeted by another $25-43/mt on Thursday, after declining by $33-43/mt last week and by $1-10/mt in the week prior. On the East Coast, container prices dropped by $28-38/mt on core grades last week, but the decreases were more tempered at $10-18/mt on major grades this week. Machine turnings fluctuated more widely and have retained the interest of buyers through the week.
Lower Japanese export offers, reduced purchases from Asian buyers in anticipation of a further market decline in early February, a wait-and-watch strategy until more information is received after the Chinese Lunar Festival holiday, and the still recovering, steel markets in South and Southeast Asia, are some of the factors that have led to price declines in the US containers market.
The weekly Davis Indexes in New York fell by $12/mt to $411/mt fas for #1 busheling, by $10/mt to $379/mt fas for HMS 1&2 (80:20), by $18/mt to $395/mt fas for P&S 5ft, and by $18/mt to $395/mt fas for shredded on limited interest for the higher grades. Machine shop turnings decreased by $2/mt to $345/mt fas as interest from some buyers was reported despite the downtrend in overall scrap prices.
In Los Angeles, the weekly Davis Indexes for #1 busheling decreased by $23/mt to $387/mt while HMS 1&2 (80:20) and P&S 5ft both fell by $31/mt to $344/mt fas and $366/mt fas, respectively. The index for shredded declined by $30/mt to $367/mt fas.
Market participants throughout the West Coast report limited buyers, some easing in container availability, and anticipation of a price rebound. Deals in Los Angeles ranged from $330-355/mt fas over the past week with several suppliers reluctant to sell at the lower end of the range. For now, deals are being reported primarily for low volumes.
In San Francisco, the indexes declined by $25/mt to $385/mt fas for #1 busheling, by $37/mt to $338/mt fas for HMS 1&2 (80:20), and by $35/mt to $358/mt fas for both P&S 5ft and shredded.
The Davis Indexes in Seattle also decreased across the board with #1 busheling dropping by $40/mt to $375/mt, HMS 1&2 (80:20) falling by $39/mt to $339/mt fas, P&S 5ft decreasing by $43/mt to $352/mt fas and shredded declining by $39/mt to $356/mt fas.
The daily Davis Index for Turkish imports of US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) fell by $24.11/mt to $415.89/mt cfr on Thursday compared to $440/mt cfr on January 21 for a cumulative drop of $62.86 in two weeks and $65.36/mt since December 30 when the index was trending at $481.25 cfr.
Turkish mills moved rapidly to push prices down but buying levels are expected to increase with the latest increased interest in scrap and firmer prices by sellers on expectations of a rebound in February.