Taiwanese mills reduced bids amid sluggish finished steel demand and weak global cues. The Davis Index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was unchanged at $370/mt cfr Taiwan on Wednesday. Some traders reduced bids to $365/mt, while exporters held offers at $370-375/mt to clear inventory and avoid a cash crunch. Few deals for USWC HMS 1 & 2 (80:20) heard at $370/mt cfr on Friday.
Mills are cautious and are tracking Japanese export and Korean import price trends to gauge price direction. With Turkish purchase prices rising by $4/mt on Thursday to $415.89/mt, exporters expect prices to rise after Lunar New Year.
Tokyo Steel cut ferrous scrap price for the eighth time in January. Effective Jan 30, the steelmaker lowered ferrous scrap purchase prices, Friday, by JPY1,000/mt ($9.5/mt) delivered plant, excluding Utsunomiya plant, which is under maintenance. Price for Utsunomiya plant was lowered on Thursday. Tokyo Steel’s bids for #2 HMS at JPY38,500/mt ($368/mt) del Tahara, JPY38,500/mt del Okayama, JPY38,000/mt del Kyushu, JPY37,500/mt del Takamatsu, and JPY29,000/mt del Utsunomiya.
With power shortages curtailing production in Japan, ferrous scrap prices are expected to fall for both domestic sales and seaborne trade. South Korean, Vietnamese and Taiwanese mills are consistently reducing bids and negotiating for higher volumes in anticipation of a rise in demand post Lunar New Year.