Ferrous scrap import and domestic markets in Bangladesh have turned silent as the government has imposed transport restrictions for eight days from April 13. Lockdown restrictions were tightened to curtail the rising tally of new COVID-19 infections. All offices, business activities, and shops are also to remain closed for these eight days.
Only a handful of suppliers offered material in Bangladesh. Laborers have left for their hometowns with the start of Ramadan month. Operations at mills have thus slowed.
Few small-scale manufacturers could shut their factories to avoid losses. Steel demand will stay under pressure until the festival ends with Eid holidays, state traders. Some even believe demand could remain tepid even after Ramadan ends as the monsoon season will slow construction activity.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, settled at $477.5/mt cfr Chattogram, down $0.71/mt. UK-origin containerized shredded offers were at $485-490/mt cfr Chattogram, with buyers staying away at these price levels.
The daily index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from Latin America settled at $456/mt cfr Chattogram, down by $2/mt. Latin American yards continued to sell in their domestic market as Bangladeshi bids were unattractive.
Amid limited deals, the indexes for US-origin, UK-origin, and Australia-origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled lower by $2-3/mt to $461.25/mt, $451/mt, and $463/mt cfr Chattogram, respectively from the prior day. There were very few deals for HMS 1&2 (80:20) heard at $460/mt cfr Chattogram, with bids later falling to $450-455/mt cfr Chattogram.
Domestic steel standstill
Domestic steel prices are expected to drop as the transportation challenges impact bookings. Construction demand has also cooled off.
Offers for ship scrap equivalent to P&S were at BDT45,500/mt ex-yards. Domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) offers were at BDT43,500-44,000/mt ex-yard Chattogram. Mills have enough inventories in hand after restocking last week.
On Wednesday, domestic billet offers were at BDT60,000/mt ex-works Chattogram. Large steelmakers kept rebar asking rates firm on increased imported scrap prices. Rebar prices were unchanged at BDT69,000-70,000/mt ex-works.