The weekly Davis Index for basic pig iron (BPI) increased by $7/mt to $527/mt cfr New Orleans port as offer prices increased after recent transactions to alternative destinations, including Turkey and Italy, concluded at higher prices.
The latest US BPI deals transacted earlier this month for discounted material from Southern Brazil at $500/mt cfr Nola. That followed a cargo of BPI from a CIS producer selling to the US at $510/mt cfr Nola from the Baltic Sea for May shipment.
Offer levels and next deals are projected to transact near $530-535/mt cfr Nola. Ocean freight has increased substantially supporting higher import prices to the US. Considering the current freight rates and sale prices to other locations, US BPI imports could compare at $530-540/mt cfr on Friday, although buyers hesitated to purchase at these numbers and await further cues next week.
After pig iron prices peaked in mid-January, new activity decelerated and offers reduced to some extent. Meanwhile, buyers have been bidding far lower over the past two weeks for BPI cargoes as domestic sentiment and prices fell further than anticipated during February trading.
Early projections see March domestic scrap prices move up considering reduced scrap flows due to inclement weather. Export activity, another key indicator, stopped its declining trend early last week and has gradually ticked up since then.
The Davis Index for nodular pig iron (NPI) imports increased by $8/mt to $578/mt cfr Nola. There has been low activity for the grade and availability is tight, but the latest offers and bids heard for NPI have ranged from $575-580/mt cfr Nola with delivery entailing May or late Q2.
The weekly Davis Index for US hot briquetted iron (HBI) imports increased by $7/mt to $385/mt cfr Nola. Offers or bids have not been reported recently, however, the price estimation for the material has been adjusted based on consumer interest levels and price movements for comparable grades.