Bangladeshi steel mills resumed inquiries and trades for imported scrap but few suppliers accepted lower bids. Most sellers have decided to postpone offers until April to gain clarity on the freight hikes expected from leading shipping lines. As per initial indications, there would be a considerable hike along with additional surcharges on the port congestion pushing landed cost up by $25-35/mt.
Demand and prices for shipbreaking plates continued to rise, boosting sentiment for ferrous scrap imports. In the bulk market, yards from US West Coast remained silent after two bulk bookings reported last week. Japanese sellers too factored in high freight and lifted offers by $10-15/mt for the Vietnamese and Bangladeshi buyers. On Friday, #2 HMS offers rose to $450-455/mt cfr Chattogram with no buyers interested.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Friday, settled at $455.5/mt cfr Chattogram, up by $1.57/mt. Trades for the UK-origin containerized shredded reported at index levels, while offers rose to $455-460/mt cfr. Following another round of freight rate hikes announced by most shipping lines, effective April, exporters have decided to stay away from the market. In a recent deal, a mix of P&S and #1 HMS of Poland-origin concluded at $445-450/mt cfr Chattogram.
Large mills hastened their purchases of premium scrap grades like P&S and Busheling in Bangladesh. UK-origin busheling in containers offered at $480-485/mt cfr Chattogram on the possibility of tightening industrial generation due to shutdown of auto plants. The Davis indices for P&S and #1 busheling, Friday, settled at $464/mt and $474/mt, up by $2/mt, respectively, from the prior week.
The daily index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from Latin America settled at $436/mt cfr Chattogram. Bids increased to $430-435/mt cfr Chattogram, with only a few offers at around $445/mt cfr Chattogram. Indices for US-origin, UK and Australia-origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $440/mt, $430/mt and $440/mt cfr Chattogram largely stable from last Friday.
Steel prices warm-up
Amid stable supply from shipbreaking operations, the weekly index for ship scrap equivalent to P&S inched up by BDT250/mt to BDT43,750/mt ex-works. The index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose by BDT750/mt to BDT42,500/mt ex-yard Chattogram.
Domestic billet prices remained at BDT55,500-56,000/mt ex-works Chattogram, with the index up BDT500/mt from a week earlier. Southeast Asian billet offers rose above $610-615/mt cfr amid high freight charges.
Most believe prices could remain unchanged for the next two weeks and then drop by at least BDT5,000/mt in April. Indian Sponge iron export prices rose above $410-415/mt cfr Chattogram on increased domestic demand and consumption. Real estate contractors and other end-users looked to purchase rebar from semi-automatic mills because of their cost competitiveness.
The index for large steelmakers’ rebar, Friday, increased by BDT500/mt to BDT67,750/mt ex-works. Large mills cancelled discounts amid recovering demand and costlier landed ferrous scrap. The index for rebar from medium-scale mills in Dhaka was up by BDT250/mt to BDT63,750/mt ex-works. Small-scale mills sold rebar in the range BDT57,000-58,000/mt ex-works.
In the second half of the week, 16mm ship plates were offered at BDT52,500-53,000/mt ex-yards, up BDT2,500-3,000/mt from the prior week. Supply from ship-breaking activities could increase as most yards are increasing the pace of demolition.