Indian mills continued to buy imported scrap purchases on a need basis. But many buyers have paused purchases ahead of the Diwali festival from November 14-17. Asking prices increased following the global cues. Domestic steel, scrap, and Sponge iron prices started to lose steam at the week start, but on Wednesday, major markets registered an uptick.
In line with rising ferrous scrap prices, the weekly Davis Index for cast iron, rotors, and drums on Wednesday settled at $354/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $7/mt with containerized trades reported in the range $355/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Few offers were even at $360/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Domestic demand stays firm in the US and Europe despite the second COVID-19 wave, and has supported suppliers to raise offers for cast iron (rotors and drums) in anticipation of short supply in the future.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded on Wednesday settled at $335.56/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $4.85/mt from Tuesday. A few alloy makers bought shredded containers at $330-335/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Offers for the UK and EU-origin shredded were at $335-340/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Wednesday. Indications of a further rise by $10-15/mt after the Diwali festival from Nov 14-17, encouraged few traders to continue restocking. Demand from secondary steel mills though remains slow.
In Turkey, trades for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) concluded at $7/mt to $305/mt cfr Turkey, at prices up from $298/mt cfr on Tuesday. Thus the sentiment in the steel and metal sector remains positive. The stock markets have also gained amid one of the COVID-19 vaccine contenders making it through the phase-3 trials.
Traders from the UAE raised HMS offers by $5/mt from Friday, but prices have stayed flat since Monday. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled unchanged at $320/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Offers for containerized #1 HMS without the cast and galvanized iron from Dubai were at prices above $325/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Wednesday. A few buyers sought HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $315/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
The Davis Index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $324.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on Wednesday, up by $3.29/mt from Tuesday. Suppliers are offering bulk cargoes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $325-330/mt cfr Kandla, but buyers showed limited interest at these price levels. Bulk demand could recover for January shipments post the Diwali festival, driving prices up to $350/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
Strengthening demand in China pushed drove their domestic billet prices to reach an 18-month high. On Wednesday, Chinese producers offered domestic billet at CNY3580/mt ex-Tangshan, stable from a day The rise is likely to instill positive sentiment in the market, and Indian billet makers are targeting levels of $450/mt fob with no deals to report at those levels yet.
Limited container availability caused by a mismatch between imports and exports has pushed freight prices up for a few routes in South Asia. Thus, the container availability index has hit a record low on the US and China routes.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, settled at $338.69/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $5.59/mt from Tuesday. The Davis Index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $325.73/mt cfr India subcontinent, up by $3.42/mt from Tuesday.