Indian buyers refrained from booking imported ferrous scrap on weak steel demand in the domestic market. A disparity between bids and offers also kept trading limited. Strong steel prices in the US and European domestic markets supported sellers from those regions to raise ferrous scrap offers. Although COVID-19 vaccination drives have brought down infections in several countries, the rise of the Delta variant, especially in the UK, has stoked fears of a new wave of infection surge.
The weekly Davis Index for cast iron, rotors, and drums, Wednesday, settled at $501/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $15/mt from June 23. Only some small-tonnage deals were heard as casting manufacturers kept production slow. Deals were heard at prices equivalent to $500-505/mt cfr Mundra. On Wednesday, offers were at $500-510/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
Cast iron scrap was offered in the domestic market in Mandi Gobindgarh at Rs37,000-37,300/mt delivered mills on Wednesday, down Rs1,000/mt from the prior week. Tight supply in the supplier countries and container shortages kept sellers bullish.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, declined by $1.75/mt to settle at $530/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Offers were firm above $535/mt cfr Nhava Sheva as deals were at equivalent prices in Pakistan. But, except for stainless steelmakers, most buyers in India were only interested in prices below $520/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
The daily Davis Index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) on Wednesday was at $492.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $1.25/mt. A wide disparity between offers and bids kept buying interest very limited for HMS from the US, Australia, and the UK this week. Sellers also preferred to sell in Bangladesh or Pakistan markets over India.
For UAE-origin #1 HMS, offers were unchanged at $495-500/mt cfr Chennai. The daily index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) remained unchanged at $473/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Offers were unchanged at $475/mt cfr Mundra. Secondary furnaces actively searched for lower-priced HMS and kept their bids at $450-455/mt cfr Nhava Sheva
In Alang, melting scrap prices on Wednesday declined by Rs1,000/mt to Rs34,000/mt ex-yards. In Mumbai, weak construction and retail demand have kept rebar prices for a week at around Rs45,800/mt ex-works. In Mandi Gobindgarh, prices for ingot dropped by Rs1,000/mt to Rs42,300/mt ex-works. The market is sluggish as many states have announced a new round of restrictions to curb the COVID-19 delta plus variant spread.
In China, domestic steel prices continued a gradual uptrend. Steel futures also increased. Iron ore (62pc Fe) prices, however, declined $5.95/mt from a day ago to $214.1/mt cfr North China. On Wednesday, billet prices were at $4,910/mt ex Tangshan, up CNY50/mt inclusive of VAT. China could announce new steel on July 1.
In seaborne markets, Indian mills continued to look for better prices amid weak domestic demand due to the ongoing monsoon rains and fears of a third COVID-19 wave. Mills targeted prices of $600-605/mt fob India, or $665-675/mt cfr China and Southeast Asia.
With their government levying export taxes, some Russian mills aggressively tried selling to get rid of stocks ahead of August 1.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, settled at $535/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $0.82/mt; while that for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $498.5/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $0.50/mt from Tuesday.