Bangladeshi steel mills booked imported ferrous scrap this week to meet immediate melt requirements. Demand was slower amid heavy monsoon rainfall and the extension of lockdown restrictions until July 14. Shortage of domestic scrap due to a decline in demolition work could support imports when restrictions are eased.
Steelmakers are eyeing price hikes for finished steel products after booking a lot of bulk cargoes at higher prices. Despite sluggish steel sales mills raised asking rates marginally to bear high input costs. Many small mills are facing a margin squeeze.
Medium-scale mills, who are low on working capital, have kept utilization levels low as retailers and contractors stayed away from purchases. The upcoming Eid holidays around July 21 could also dampen trading. They expect demand to recover only after monsoon retreats.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Friday settled at $552/mt cfr Chattogram, up $0.75/mt from Thursday. Deals were scarce amid a wide disparity between offers and bids. But a recovery in the Pakistani market and elevated freight rates marginally lifted offers this week. Very limited trades for shredded reported at $545-550/mt cfr Chattogram early in the week, but prices were below sellers’ expectations.
The daily Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from Latin America, Friday, was at $514/mt cfr Chattogram, up $2/mt. Deals for HMS 1&2 (80:20) reported at $514-515/mt cfr Chattogram pushing traders to expect $5/mt higher in the next week.
A few mills were relieved by the price drop at Japan’s Kanto tender for July. The winning bid was $12/mt down from June. Buyers are hopeful of resuming bulk trades for Japanese #2 HMS at lowered prices, yet elevated freights might keep offers high and in line with global levels on cfr basis.
In a silent market, the daily indexes for US-origin and Australia origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $528.25/mt and $524/mt cfr Chattogram, up $2/mt on Friday. The daily index for UK-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $515/mt cfr Chattogram amid few trades.
Domestic market largely still
In Bangladesh, domestic steel prices have remained still for the last two weeks on slow trades. The weekly index for ship scrap equivalent to P&S settled at BDT49,500/mt ($584/mt) ex-yards, unchanged. The weekly index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) too was flat at BDT46,250/mt ex-yards Chattogram on Friday.
The weekly index for billet inched down by BDT250/mt to BDT59,250/mt ex-works. Prices have been largely flat for a month with a variation of just BDT500/mt.
For shipbreakers, offers of scrapped vessels were $550-560/mt cnf depending on the type. Sluggish sales pressurized the weekly index for rebar from large-scale mills down by BDT250/mt to settle at BDT71,250/mt, ex-works. The weekly Davis Indexes for rebar by medium-scale and small-scale mills too dropped by BDT250/mt to BDT66,500/mt and BDT61,000/mt ex-works, respectively.