The US containerized market rebounded on Thursday after three successive weeks of declines. Freight prices increased in tandem with export prices for ferrous scrap while the lack of container availability continued to plague transactions on both coasts.
Bulk scrap import buys however could be supported by the shortage of containers. Small bulk buys from Japan have been heard up $10/mt from previous week’s deals with rising offers. The rise in the bulk market is also supporting price increases in Japanese containers despite the limitation on more container purchases due to the shortage.
Large buyers adopted a wait-and-see approach in the previous week as sellers were withdrawing from making offers on the expectation that prices would rebound by early April. At that time, buyers were hesitant on some price declines in their respective domestic ferrous scrap markets and lower price cues from the Turkish import scrap deals.
However, this week buyers returned to quoting and purchasing activities due to demand from mills. The increased ferrous scrap demand along with an improved sentiment regarding Turkey’s buying direction lifted prices on the US West Coast.
On the East Coast, export scrap also encountered firmer offers as US domestic scrap trading sentiment began to rise. Buyers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India were active in the market to fulfill their raw material needs. Higher sponge iron export prices from India also supported rising import ferrous buys from the neighboring regions.
The US domestic ferrous scrap market is due to trade next week but preliminary conversations are having some sellers shifting previous expectations of down $30-40/gt on cuts and shredded against March settled prices to down $20-30/gt on the grade depending on the region. Some market participants feared that export volumes would be vastly offered inland but at moment the prospect is limited.
In New York, the weekly Davis Indexes for containerized scrap increased by $13-28/mt after having declined by $1-11/mt in the prior week. The index for #1 busheling rose by $28/mt to $429/mt fas while P&S 5ft climbed by $23/mt to $405/mt fas in tandem with shredded, which also increased by $19/mt to $399/mt fas. The indexes for HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose by $13/mt to $383/mt fas as buyers increased the spread for better grades. Machine turnings rose by $23/mt to $358/mt fas.
The weekly Los Angeles containerized scrap indexes rose by $15-23/mt with #1 busheling and P&S 5ft climbing by $23/mt to $391/mt fas and $383/mt fas, respectively. HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose by $15/mt to $358/mt fas and shredded gained by $20/mt to $380/mt fas.
San Francisco’s weekly indexes gained by $15-23/mt, thereby, reversing course from their losses in the prior week. The index for #1 busheling increased by $23/mt to $383/mt fas, HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose by $15/mt to $350/mt fas, and P&S 5ft climbed by $20/mt to $373/mt fas. Shredded also climbed but lagged P&S 5ft as it gained by $17/mt to $370/mt fas.
The Davis Indexes in Seattle increased by $22-25/mt after the $10-13/mt declines last week. The index for #1 busheling rose by $23/mt to $393/mt fas and HMS 1&2 (80:20) also rose by $22/mt to $365/mt fas. P&S 5ft and shredded both gained $25/mt to settle at $385/mt fas and $383/mt fas, respectively.