In India, demand for imported ferrous scrap improved, especially from the large-scale mills amid anticipation of steel exports picking up in the coming days. China lowering import duty could benefit Indian billet and HRC makers, who eye to lift steel exports amid weak domestic demand.
Many large mills have shifted their focus to fulfill the oxygen requirement of hospitals. In the secondary steel sector, production has dropped by over 30-40pc in Maharashtra, Punjab, and Chhattisgarh after rolling mills slowed operations. Automakers in Maharashtra and Gujarat have decided to half operations. Outlook for steel demand and prices is bullish once the lockdowns are lifted, which could support ferrous scrap deals, believe traders.
Offers for containerized shredded from the UK/EU were at $465-470/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. The Davis Index for containerized shredded settled at $465/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $2.5/mt from Wednesday. Deals under negotiations are very few but buyers could resume inquiries amid a shortage of ferrous scrap inventories.
The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Thursday, settled at $444/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $7/mt from last Friday. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $435/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $2/mt. Offers for Dubai-origin HMS #1 were above $445-450/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
Offers for Turning scrap were above $410-415/mt cfr Vizag, up by $10/mt from a week ago. Offers for West African HMS 20-21mt loading with CI-GI were at $410/mt cfr Goa on Thursday with limited buyers.
Offers for busheling in containers were in the range of $520-525/mt cfr Vizag. Mills stayed away from booking containerized P&S and #1 busheling. The indexes for P&S and #1 busheling were at $477/mt and $500/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, respectively, up by $2/mt and $7/mt from last week.
On Thursday, melting scrap offers in Alang increased by Rs500-600/mt to Rs37,200-37,300/mt ex-yards. Many yards have been forced to shut operations due to oxygen shortage, and recycling activities at Alang came to a standstill. For shipbreakers, offers rose above $500/ldt and most ships have been diverted to Bangladesh and Turkey.
In Mumbai, rebar prices marginally inched up following strengthened sentiments. Rebar prices were at Rs49,400/mt ex-works, up Rs200/mt. Stricter movement restrictions to contain the virus in Maharashtra has impacted inter-district transport and the availability of laborers as it extended further till May 15.
In Chennai, demand increased for both domestic steel and imported ferrous scrap. Electric arc maker mills in Southern India seized export opportunities. Billet offers were above Rs45,500/mt ex-works while rebar at Rs51,500/mt ex-works, this supported trades for imported scrap. Dubai origin #1 HMS traded at $455-460/mt cfr Chennai, up by $5/mt from a day prior. While mills booked Latin American #1 HMS at $440/mt cfr Chennai.
In China, spot iron ore prices were at $190.2/mt cfr North China for 62pc Fe scrap content on Wednesday, down $3.2/mt from the day prior. Domestic billet traded at prices higher by CNY10/mt higher to CNY4,990/mt cfr North China.
To lower exports, the Chinese government has lowered export rebates on 146 finished steel products including HRC, rebar, wire rods. The country also nullified import tax on billets from all non-ASEAN countries like India, South Kora, Russia from 2pc effective May 1 to aid their domestic markets. Steel prices in China could stay strong and support Indian mills to target better prices in the export markets.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Thursday settled at $468.83/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $1.65/mt; while that for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $443.98/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $0.57/mt from the prior day.