US West Coast dockside ferrous scrap prices declined in Portland and were rangebound in Los Angeles and San Francisco for the fifth sequential week on Tuesday.
Portland’s dock prices declined following softness in the latest domestic ferrous scrap trade but the two other docks met expectations of mostly holding week over week, though San Francisco began adjusting for some sellers.
Market participants continue conveying expectations of bulk orders from the West Coast at strong prices given the global ferrous scrap demand, high finished steel prices, difficulty in alternative containers mode, and anticipation of renewed steelmaking activity in emerging markets with limited domestic sources.
Daily spot prices of Iron ore Fe 62pc declined to $131.50/dmt cfr North China on Monday, down by $13.50/mt from Friday and about $23/mt from Aug 31 with some positive expectations on a rebound of futures prices on Tuesday. Market participants note that some global softness in ferrous scrap is a given due to the decline in iron ore prices, which have historically trended in tandem. Domestic ferrous scrap prices in China increased over the past week alongside billet prices showing strength in the Asian buying giant.
South Korean buyers are reporting weakness in global steel prices and recovering demand. Domestic scrap prices in Korea declined over the week, but mills in Taiwan and Vietnam increased domestic ferrous scrap prices. Japan’s domestic scrap prices continue flat as there were no further changes at Tokyo Steel after one plant’s operations were reduced on Sep 3. With low scrap generation, it is uncertain whether it will balance with the announced stoppages at various vehicle manufacturers within Japan and throughout Asia due to the semiconductor shortage.
Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani buyers are facing low finished steel demand and pressure on prices, but with limited containers to keep up with steel production, even bulk buys from the US are anticipated at more limited levels.
The weekly Davis Indexes in Portland dropped as some sellers in the higher range saw prices decline by $10-12/gt while others who are trading at slightly lower prices resisted declines. Domestic mills decreased their prices by $10-20/gt on secondary grades. #1 HMS and P&S 5ft indexes fell by $6/gt to $379/gt delivered and $399/gt delivered, respectively. Shredder feed dropped by $7/gt to $283/mt delivered export yard.
San Francisco’s weekly Davis Indexes declined slightly as some smaller yards saw slight buying price adjustments. #1 HMS and P&S 5ft dropped by $2/gt to $384/gt delivered and $398/gt delivered, respectively. Shredder feed declined by $3/gt to $285/gt delivered.
In Los Angeles, the Davis Indexes continued trending flat for #1 HMS at $335/gt delivered, P&S 5ft at $348/gt delivered, and shredder feed at $246/gt delivered export yard.