US West Coast dock prices climbed on Tuesday amid a possibility of prices having peaked but also steady scrap export demand, firm iron ore prices, robust global steel prices, and strong demand in the US domestic market.
Japanese export scrap prices are expected to soften slightly on weaker demand but remain strong at present as steel mills announce unchanged or slightly higher finished steel prices and mostly flat domestic scrap purchase price bids. Domestic scrap prices are mostly flat in other Asian countries where domestic steel mills are assessing demand due to some weakness because of seasonality and export uncertainty.
South Korea and China encountered slight increases in domestic scrap prices over the past week. Prices for Chinese billet declined compared to a month ago but are firming up again this week. Chinese HRC, rebar, and billet prices in fob terms dropped by about 10pc compared to a month ago but are showing resilience as policies high prices, and demand collide in the country which has a large influence in import buying activity across Asia.
Scrap is supported globally by strong iron ore prices that are above the $222/mt cfr China price point for Fe 62pc.
The daily Turkish Davis Index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose by $3.48 to $503.48/mt cfr Turkey on Jun 15. While the daily index registered a rise on a weekly basis, it declined on Tuesday as Turkish steel mills sought lower import buying prices at reduced bids. The index is down $9.71/mt compared to $513.19/mt cfr on May 25 leading several market participants to note that these may be the highest dock prices experienced in the season. The higher US domestic scrap prices had export competing, but higher import prices are seen as unlikely going into July with Turkish HMS 1&2 (80:20) imported prices continuing at $500/mt cfr in the latest deals.
The weekly Davis Indexes in Portland for export yard scrap increased by $6/mt on #1 HMS to $381/mt delivered as P&S 5ft rose more steeply by $16/gt to $404/gt delivered export yard. Shredder feed continued to climb for some sellers but buyers also sought to adjust prices to a lower buying range for resulting in an index fall of $3/gt to $277/gt delivered.
In San Francisco, the Davis Indexes climbed by $6/gt for #1 HMS to $360/gt delivered, P&S 5ft rose by $2/gt to $369/gt delivered, and shredder feed increased by $7/gt to $254/gt. Several small scrap yards reported increases in buys but were within the range already reflected in previous weeks. Larger dealers could achieve $380-390/gt on P&S 5ft on some deals.
Los Angeles’ dock prices did not receive mass price announcement changes. Thus, the indexes rose by $2/gt as some deals gained slightly within the range bringing #1 HMS to $341/gt delivered, P&S 5ft to $351/gt delivered, and shredder feed to $251/gt delivered.