After secondary steel makers switched off induction and electric arc furnaces, primary mills in India have started idling their blast furnaces this week. Steel makers fear oversupply of steel could hurt prices and have thus curtailed production to match the current plunge in demand. Imported ferrous scrap market took a pause though a few traders in the latter half of the week initiated buying inquiries with no trades reported.
Major mills who had earlier booked ferrous scrap in large volumes looked to cancel consignments. But shipping lines waiving off detention and demurrage changes till April 14 at the behest of the Indian government came as a relief for most. Many cargoes are lying at seaports and inland container depots. Indian ferrous scrap import prices hit three-months-low, according to Davis Index analysis.
The weekly Davis Index for containerised shredded dropped by $20/mt to $238/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Friday. Early this week, shredded in containers was offered at $240-245/mt cfr Nhava Sheva but no buyers or traders were ready for transactions. In absence of trades, the Davis Index for containerised P&S 5ft settled at $25/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $20/mt from the prior week. The weekly Davis Index for busheling settled at $250/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $20/mt. The weekly index for Turning scrap settled at $208/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $17/mt.
Only a few buyers from countries like China or South Korea are currently in the finished and semi-finished steel markets. Thus, Indian sellers faced stiff competition as they tried to liquidate inventories. A major steel maker in the South is reported to have sold 30,000mt billets at $355-360/mt fob India or $375-380/mt cfr China.
With a global halt in manufacturing activity, including the auto industry, scrap generation has taken a hit. Collection rates in supplier countries like the US and Europe has also dropped. Sellers now feel supply of scrap could tighten when markets reopen which could support them to raise offers.
The Davis Index for UAE-origin containerised HMS 1&2 (80:20) dropped by $18/mt to $250/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Friday with no bookings reported. The Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from the UK and Europe settled at $230/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $18/mt from last Friday. Indications for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from West Africa were at $220-225/mt cfr Goa, down by $20/mt with no trades reported.
The Davis Index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $233/mt cfr Chennai, down by $17/mt from the prior week. The Davis Index for the UK and EU-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $235/mt cfr Chennai, down $15/mt from the prior week. The Davis Index for Australia-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $238/mt cfr Chennai, down by $20/mt from the prior week.