Asian weekly domestic ferrous scrap prices were pressured by the rising COVID-19 cases and its impact on production and logistics.
A few countries have suspended trading activities and restricted international travels which has impacted their operations.
Taiwan’s domestic ferrous scrap prices dropped for the third week due to bearish demand finished steel in the domestic steel market. The Taiwanese government has diverted funds allocated to constructions projects for containing the spread of COVID-19.
The weekly Davis Index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) in south Taiwan settled at NT$6,500/mt ($215/mt) del plant, down by NT$300/mt. The weekly index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) in north Taiwan settled at NT$6,750/mt del plant, down by NT$250/mt.
In South Taiwan, Feng Hsin Steel lowered its domestic scrap purchase price by NT$200/mt on March 16. The mill is now paying NT$6,500-6,600/mt for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) delivered Taichung plant, down by NT$200/mt from the prior week.
The steelmaker lowered its grade 40 rebar prices including local taxes to NT$15,100/mt ex-plant, a drop of NT$200/mt from the prior week. The steelmaker is also offering an additional discount of NT$200/mt on its rebar prices to boost trades.
Buyers in Taiwan were offered Indonesian billets at $410-413/mt cfr Taiwan, with no trades at those prices as bids were at or below $400/mt cfr Taiwan.
US origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) traded in the range $225-230/mt cfr Taiwan, down $5/mt from the prior late week.
Japanese domestic ferrous scrap prices have remained from March 12.
Tokyo Steel’s finished steel prices for April shipments lowered by JPY5,000-9,000/mt ($47-84/mt) or 6-11pc depending on the products. Prices were flat since October.
After the latest price revision for domestic scrap purchase, effective March 12, prices for #2 HMS del to Utsunomiya plant in the Kanto region are at JPY19,500/mt ($184/mt) and JPY18,000/mt del Kyushu plant.
Mills preferred ferrous scrap to maintain their profit margins as the rise in global iron ore and coal prices increased their input cost. Weak finished steel demand in the construction sector, on the other hand, pressured prices. Scrap suppliers preferred seaborne trades for higher realisation. Japanese #2 HMS to South Korean mills were at JPY22,000/mt fob Japan.
South Korean domestic ferrous scrap prices lowered as trades were thin in the market. The weekly Davis Index for domestic Heavy A del Incheon settled at KRW265,000/mt ($213/mt), down by KRW2,500/mt. The Davis Index for Heavy A settled at KRW255,000/mt del Pohang, also down by KRW2500/mt from the prior Tuesday.
The weekly Davis Index for domestic Light A delivered Pohang plant settled at KRW242,500/mt, down by KRW2,500/mt from the prior week. Mills have limited their production outputs to match current decreased demand resulting into limited purchases for ferrous scrap.
The weekly Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) delivered South Vietnam settled at VND5,800,000/mt ($249/mt) inclusive of taxes, down by VND100,000/mt. Southeast Asian billet prices were in the range $405-410/mt cfr Southeast Asia, down by $5/mt from the prior week.
The weekly Davis Index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at CNY2,515/mt ($358/mt) inclusive of 13pc vat delivered to mill in eastern China, down by CNY5/mt.
Though domestic construction and manufacturing activities have gained momentum, Chinese steel prices are yet to pick up. Chinese billet was offered at CNY3180/mt ex-works Tangshan on Tuesday. Offers were unchanged from Monday, but up by CNY100/mt from the prior week.
The weekly Davis Index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) delivered Rayong settled at THB8,700/mt ($269/mt), down THB50/mt inclusive of taxes.
The weekly Davis Index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) delivered western mills settled at MYR860/mt ($208/mt), down MYR15/mt and the index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) delivered eastern mills remained unchanged at MYR960/mt, inclusive of taxes.
The Philippines, a major billet importer in Southeast Asia has announced a lockdown on Tuesday and the country’s stock exchange has closed indefinitely. At present, currency and bond trading has also been suspended citing safety concerns for traders.Billet buyers in Manila refused offers of $415/mt cfr Manila as the country likely to remain lock for another month’s time to deal with the pandemic.
($1= TWD30.24, CNY7.02, THB32.31, MYR4.35 VND23245.5, KRW1,242.32)