Dock prices in Portland and San Francisco were rangebound but increased in Los Angeles. Officially Los Angeles dock prices remained unchanged but quiet deals seeking to attract tonnage increased them by $5-10/gt.
The Turkish scrap import daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) increased by about $2.25/mt to $472/mt cfr on Tuesday against seven days ago, a slowdown from the leaps through the early weeks in December. Some are postulating on the possibility that Turkey may seek to lower bids upon return. This week, the market became quiet due to the holidays and Turkish mills took their time to conclude negotiations. Turkish domestic scrap is showing mixed movements after some mills raised prices this week while others began decreasing them.
Market participants continue noting limited scrap inventories in most domestic markets, strong mill production plans, and demand for imported scrap. Some dock prices in the EU and other locations increased slightly this week but many exporters suspended collection activity due to the holidays and hoping to time their price movements with those in Turkey in the first two weeks in January.
US bulk sellers continue providing limiting offers to Turkey given bulk interest to other destinations such as Mexico, South America, and Asia at strong prices. Moreover, the expectation of a strong surge in January’s US domestic scrap trade may lead to further higher prices to export. The US domestic scrap market is expected to increase by $60-100/gt against December settled prices depending on region, grade, and if they sold at the higher end of prices.
Domestic scrap prices continue increasing in South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and other buying regions. Semi-finished and finished steel tags are also rising to support raw materials price increases. South Korean mills could make bulk buys but have not been able to book Japanese deals yet given the upward movement in pricing. The low availability of containers may spur higher interest in small and medium bulk deals.
Portland’s weekly dock Davis Indexes were mostly rangebound with #1 HMS and P&S 5ft rising by $2/gt to $295/gt delivered and $306/gt delivered, respectively. The index for shredder feed was flat at $230/gt delivered.
The San Francisco Davis Indexes were unchanged this week with limited activity due to the holidays with HMS #1 at $292/gt delivered, P&S 5ft at $301/gt delivered, and shredder feed flat at $200/gt delivered.
The weekly Davis Indexes for dock prices in Los Angeles climbed again on higher prices achieved in quiet deals with #1 HMS increasing by $11/gt to $310/gt delivered, P&S 5ft climbing by $12/gt to $321/gt delivered, and shredder feed rising by $15/gt to $221/gt delivered. Los Angeles dock indexes continue surpassing those in Portland and San Francisco after lagging previously. Demand for scrap continues along with limited scrap inflows.
Container prices trended up for the 12th consecutive week. While the past few weeks encountered substantial increases of $40-55/mt, this week the price range for HMS 1&2 (80:20) widened to the upper end of the range by $20/mt from $400/mt fas last week to $400-420/mt fas. Containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) has risen by about $150-175/mt compared to early October.
Market participants have observed some limited price resistance but are more concerned with the low availability of containers. A few large buyers reported limited active bookings this week. Hesitancy from buyers is attributed to the holidays and unknown factors that may influence prices in early January.