Bangladeshi steel mills with limited scrap inventories actively inquired for bulk and containerized ferrous scrap, giving a boost to prices. Offers, however, remained scarce.
Medium and small-scale mills did not book material in the last couple of weeks anticipating prices to fall. Instead, prices rallied forcing them to return to the market with higher bids. Should prices continue to rally, only large mills, who had bought bulk cargoes earlier, can back out of the market. Domestic steel demand is gradually rising amid a recovery in infrastructure projects. However, steel prices have failed to rise in proportion to the increase in raw material prices.
Also, major shipping lines have decided to lower the number of free days at some destinations, particularly in Asia, effective Jan 1, 2021, to deal with the shortage of containers. Mediterranean Shipping Company has lowered free days to 12 days in India and Pakistan; and 10 days in Bangladesh from the earlier 14 days.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Wednesday settled at $415/mt cfr Chattogram, stable from Tuesday. Offers for the UK-origin containerized shredded were at $420/mt cfr Chattogram on Wednesday. Trades for the shredded are expected at $420/mt cfr Chattogram while the grade from the other origins like US, New Zealand and Australia was offered $410-415/mt cfr Chattogram.
The weekly Davis Index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $392.5/mt cfr Chattogram, up by $0.36/mt. Prior trades for the UK-origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) were reported at $395-400/mt cfr Chattogram, aiding suppliers to raise offers above $400-405/mt cfr Chattogram. An indenter based in Chattogram said they expect trades for the UK origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $405/mt cfr and for P&S grade at $415/mt cfr Chattogram.
A few offers for #1 HMS were at $400-405/mt cfr Chattogram from Australia and the US, depending on the quality. Offers for sheared #1 HMS from the UK were at prices above $405-410/mt cfr Chattogram on Wednesday.
Bangladeshi mills sought Japanese small bulk cargoes, whereas Japanese mills await the Kanto tender’s result scheduled for Thursday to gain clarity on price direction.
The daily index for Latin America-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $385/mt cfr Chattogram, up by $3/mt with trades reported at those levels. Offers for Latin American mix HMS #1 and P&S were at $390-395/mt cfr Chattogram. A few containers were booked for the grade from New Zealand and Chile at $385-390/mt cfr Chattogram.
Rebar prices remain stable after many mills announced price hikes. On Wednesday, large scale rebar makers like AKS and BSRM held their asking prices at BDT61,000-62,000/mt ex-works.
Trades for domestic billets continued with rising steel demand and resumption of economic activities. Steel mills in Chattogram offered domestic billet at BDT49,500-50,000/mt ($585-591/mt) ex-works Chattogram keeping demand for ferrous scrap strong, said a steelmaker.
Shipbreaking scrap equivalent to P&S rose in sync with the rise in imported scrap prices. Trades were at BDT39,500-40,000/mt ex-yards.