US West Coast weekly export yard ferrous scrap prices increased in Portland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco as docks increased offers and deal levels to attract inventories. Export demand and prices firmed up before the US domestic market trade.
The price expectations during March trade in the US domestic scrap market have firmed up from $20-30/gt against February settled prices to an expectation of up $50/gt across most grades depending on region. Trading was quiet on Tuesday but mill offers are expected on Mar 3. A few scrap dealers believe that mills in Texas may limit increases by $30-35/gt since they were down for the winter storm in line with limited scrap production at scrap yards, but most expect mills to make bolder offers on high finished steel demand, long lead times, and strong export options.
The daily Davis Index for Turkish imports of US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) increased by $12.7/mt to $457.50/mt cfr on Tuesday from $444.80/mt cfr on Feb 23. The Turkish index has increased by $58.75/mt since Feb 2. With rising rebar prices, Turkey is expected to increase bids for imported scrap for April shipments.
Dock prices in the EU and UK have increased by $14-19/mt over the past week due to the export market uptrend. Collection prices increased for docks in early March also on strong local competing demand.
Mills throughout Asia are encountering improved billet and rebar demand as construction projects began to take shipments for spring. The trend is expected to support raw material prices. South Korea, Vietnam, and China are facing higher domestic scrap prices.
In Japan, Tokyo Steel increased its domestic scrap bid prices, placing further pressure in the domestic scrap market and supporting export scrap offers that are expected to rise further in March. With negotiations for imported bulk scrap heard in Australia, Japan, Russia, and the US, scrap dealers are beginning to firm up offers by $20-30/mt compared to a week ago.
The weekly Portland Davis Indexes increased for #1 HMS by $10/gt to $367/gt delivered. P&S 5ft rose by $12/gt to $379/gt delivered as shredder feed climbed by $9/gt to $272/gt delivered. Offers from regional docks increased over the week on higher export demand and rising bulk prices. Some scrap yards continued receiving January prices while others began to capture improved offers after the dip in dock prices in early February.
In San Francisco, the weekly indexes for #1 HMS increased by $10/gt to $310/gt delivered as P&S 5ft climbed by $13/gt to $324/gt delivered. The shredder feed index rose by $12/gt to $210/gt delivered after trending flat last week.
The weekly Los Angeles Davis Indexes at docks rose again this week after the largest dock increased prices by $20/gt. #1 HMS rose by $19/gt to $293/gt delivered as P&S 5ft climbed by $23/gt to $317/gt delivered. Shredder feed also increased by $16/gt to $197/gt delivered.
Market participants were anticipating the increase over the week with some considering the potential for an additional $10-20/gt before the month is over given strong export demand and regional options via rail toward mills inland and Mexico.
The containerized market continues to trend up after prices on HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose from $390-395/mt fas last week to negotiations being heard at or above $410/mt fas on the grade. Sellers report that limited container availability has made some potential sales untenable.