There were only a few sellers and buyers in the market for imported ferrous scrap in India. Outlook for steel demand is weak due to the resurgence of the COVID-19 cases, and the approaching Holi and Easter holidays.
Primary mills have shifted their focus on the production of flat steel to make the most of the bullish HRC market. Effective April, flat steel prices are set to increase by Rs2,500-3,000/mt while long steel prices could rise by Rs1,000/mt. Exporters sold HRC at prices above $800-820/mt cfr Vietnam. Offers for billets were at $610-620/mt cfr Southeast Asia. If the export market remains bullish, ferrous scrap deals could pick up in April, believe traders.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded inched up by $3.75/mt to $428.75/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Prices increased by $1.25/mt from the prior Friday. Most secondary mills kept bids at $405-410/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, but suppliers resisted these levels. Offers for shredded were in the range of $435-445/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
In Turkey, mills were waiting for rebar demand to pick up again before resuming May shipment bookings. Most market participants are waiting for a clarification on the Chinese export rebate rate to assess price direction. HRC prices are on an uptrend in the US, EU, and Asia. Yet scrap prices could remain under pressure believe traders.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Friday, settled at $395/cfr Nhava Sheva, unchanged from Thursday and up by $2/mt from a week ago. A limited volume of Dubai-origin HMS #1 and P&S sold at around $405-410/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. Still, many furnace owners were unsure of steel prices supporting imported scrap purchases in the near term.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled unchanged at $406.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. With most US suppliers returning to overseas markets, prices could come under pressure. Offers for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from the UK and Australia were above $400-410/mt cfr Nhava Sheva on high freight charges despite buyers’ expectation $10-15/mt below offers. Inquiries for turning scrap were in the range of $375-380/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $5/mt from a week ago. Thin trades for West African HMS for 20-21mt loading with CI-GI were at $380-385/mt cfr Goa.
Trading for containerized P&S and #1 busheling was very sluggish in India. From a week ago, the indexes for P&S and #1 busheling were at $441/mt and $454/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $1/mt.
On Friday, shipbreaking melting scrap offers in Alang rose Rs500/mt on pre-holiday bookings. Melting prices were at Rs30,700-30,800/mt ex-Alang. A few participants resumed trades in Mandi Gobindgarh despite a strike due to GST-related issues. In Mumbai, rebar prices recovered by Rs400/mt to Rs46,400/mt ex-works. But a resurgence of COVID-19 kept trades for rebar and ferrous scrap purchases limited.
In China, recovering steel demand and strengthening sentiment led to a rise of over 3pc in iron ore prices. Spot imported iron ore 62pc ferrous content were at $161.30/mt cfr North China, with a possibility of further rise in the coming days. With rising demand, inventories continued to dip and boosted prices.
Domestic billet prices in the retail market continued to climb up hitting CNY4,720/mt ex-Tangshan on Friday, including VAT, up CNY70/mt. On Thursday, rebar prices were at CNY4,790/mt, up by CNY20/mt. HRC prices rose by CNY40/mt to reach CNY5,140/mt ex-works.
The impact of a large vessel Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal was limited on steel prices. But there were transportation delays on European routes. Most parts of Europe are still under lockdowns and suppliers are unlikely to offer materials at lower prices.
On Friday, firm offers pushed the daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Friday to $422.22/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $2.49/mt. The daily index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $401.49/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $0.16/mt from a day ago.