Asian weekly domestic ferrous scrap prices remained on a downtrend as COVID-19 cases in West Asian markets continued to rise. Domestic ferrous scrap fell, also pressured by a decline in global ferrous scrap prices to a five-year low. Subdued demand in the global billet market pulled down offers by $10-15/mt to Southeast Asian buyers to $380-385/mt cfr Manila from the prior week. Lockdown in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand kept Southeast Asian ferrous scrap buyers away from seaborne and domestic markets.
Taiwan’s domestic ferrous scrap prices fell by NT$300-500/mt from the prior week following global cues.
The weekly Davis Index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) in south Taiwan settled at NT$6,150/mt ($203/mt) del plant, down by NT$300/mt. The weekly index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) in north Taiwan settled at NT$6,350/mt del plant, down by NT$300/mt.
In South Taiwan, Feng Hsin Steel lowered its domestic scrap purchase prices by NT$500/mt from the last set of prices effective March 30. The mill is now paying NT$6,000-6,100/mt for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) delivered Taichung plant. Feng Hsin’s base offers for rebar are at NT$14,000-14,200/mt ex-producer. Other mills offered rebar grade 40 at NT$13,700-13,800/mt ex-producer after discounts.
In seaborne trades, US-origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) traded in the range $210-213/mt cfr Taiwan late last week. With a drop in the global ferrous scrap prices, bids fell in the range $205-210/mt cfr Taiwan this week.
Japan’s domestic scrap prices remained flat this week. Export prices, however, are likely to drop further on global cues. Tokyo Steel lowered its ferrous scrap purchase prices by JPY500/mt at all five works effective March 28. Bids for #2 HMS dropped to JPY17,500/mt ($162/mt) del Kyushu plant while #2 HMS bids del Utsunomiya, Tahara, Okayama and Takamatsu were at JPY19,000/mt, JPY20,000/mt, JPY18,500/mt and JPY17,500/mt, respectively. Bids for busheling were at JPY22,000/mt del Tahara and JPY21,000/mt del Utsunomiya plants.
Rising inventories with major steel mills forced them to cut domestic purchase prices for ferrous scrap by KRW10,000/mt this week. Effective March 30, Hyundai cut prices by KRW10,000/mt and YK steel by KRW5,000/mt for all domestic scrap purchases. Other steelmakers like Welcome Steel, Dongkuk Steel and Daehan Steel have announced price cuts by KRW10,000/mt effective April 1st, 2nd and 4th, respectively, according to Davis Index sources.
The weekly Davis Index for domestic Heavy A settled Tuesday at KRW252,500/mt ($206/mt) del Incheon, down by KRW10,000/mt. The Davis Index for Heavy A settled at KRW242,500/mt del Pohang, also down by KRW10,000/mt from the prior Tuesday. The weekly Davis Index for domestic Light A settled at KRW227,500/mt delivered Pohang plant, down by KRW7,500/mt.
Demand for ferrous scrap remained subdued amid ferrous scrap and steel inventories piling up. Mills have shut their operations at facilities abroad. Additionally, auto manufacturing works also remain shut. With no downstream demand, mills could announce a production halt even at their South Korea plants.
No deals of imported bulk cargoes were heard under negotiation despite global ferrous scrap prices dropping to a five-year low. Hyundai Steel’s bid for #2 HMS was unchanged at JPY21,000/mt fob Japan. The mill could, however, lower bids this week.
The weekly Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at VND5,300,000/mt ($224/mt) delivered South Vietnam inclusive of taxes, down by VND250,000/mt for a second successive week. For the past few weeks, activity in Vietnam markets was better compared to other Southeast Asian markets. This week, however, Vietnamese markets slowed down after global HRC prices fell by over $50-60/mt in the span of 10 days, driven by the COVID-19 lockdown in India.
The weekly Davis Index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled unchanged at CNY2,500/mt ($354/mt) inclusive of 13pc vat delivered to mill in eastern China. A few steel mills lowered their ferrous scrap purchase prices by CNY30-60/mt from the prior week. Shagang Steel headquartered in Zhangjiagang, East China’s Jiangsu province, was paying CNY2,610/mt for HMS 2 and CNY2,660/mt for HMS 1 to domestic suppliers, including delivery and the 13pc VAT as per a Davis Index source. Mills focused on destocking finished steel inventories as rebar prices dropped by CNY40-50/mt in the China domestic market in the last two days.
Thailand’s domestic scrap prices fell by over $40/mt in the last two weeks due to weak global cues and subdued domestic steel demand. Thailand also continued to be under lockdown like many other countries in the world. The weekly Davis Index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20 settled at THB7750/mt ($236/mt) ) delivered Rayong inclusive of taxes, down by THB550/mt ($17/mt).
The weekly Davis Index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) delivered western mills settled at MYR845/mt ($196/mt), unchanged from the prior week. As production and mining activities have ground to a halt amid a lockdown announced by the Malaysian government, no major trades for ferrous scrap were reported in the country. The lockdown has been extended till April 14 from earlier date of March 31. The index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) delivered eastern mills settled at MYR925/mt, inclusive of taxes, down by MYR25/mt from the prior week.
($1= TWD30.2, CNY7.06, THB32.81, MYR4.43 VND23,245.5, KRW1,240.7)