The weekly Davis Index for basic pig iron (BPI) increased $14/gt on Thursday from $349/mt cfr New Orleans to $363/mt cfr Nola amid strong demand but only a few offers to sell material.
Prices have remained at or below $350/mt cfr Nola for several months, making this week’s transaction a large increase, comparatively. CIS-origin cargos of BPI were sold to the US at $347-350/mt cfr Nola last week. In the week prior to that sales were made to the US in the $337-$345/mt cfr Nola range.
BPI offers originating from CIS and Brazil remained at around $350/mt cfr Nola with no confirmed bids on Thursday. Activity is slow but market participants foresee ferrous scrap and pig iron markets getting stronger with increased prices expected.
When Tulachermet, one of the biggest merchant pig iron suppliers to the US and globally, stops the operations of its Blast Furnace No. 3, for full repairs at the end of March, BPI supply could tighten up during the month the producer plans to be down.
The index for nodular pig iron (NPI) imports was flat at $418/mt cfr Nola, with no new sales this week. The last offers heard declined to $405-430/mt cfr Nola from $430-440/mt cfr Nola, with no confirmed bids at that level.
The weekly Davis Index for US hot briquetted iron (HBI) imports remained flat at $254/mt cfr New Orleans. No HBI import deals to North America were reported this week but the material is moving to other locations.
New offers for BPI are expected to rise above prior levels of $350/mt cfr Nola, considering the recent, higher priced import deal. However, Turkish export activity has slowed this past week after two prior weeks of increased demand and prices from Turkey for US-origin cargos.
Domestic ferrous scrap trading began on Wednesday and wrapped up Thursday at price increases of $10/gt for primes and no change for secondary grades, below earlier expectations that March would settle at prices $10-20/gt above February trade levels.