Domestic steel prices continued to rise in Pakistan as mills pass on high input costs to consumers. On Monday, inquiries rose as market participants became wary of resumption of ferrous scrap import into China. Mills with limited inventories are expected to resume trades actively once suppliers return from the New Year holidays.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Monday, rose to $471.25/mt cfr Port Qasim up by $1.25/mt from prior Thursday. Most offers heard at $475/mt cfr Qasim. Traders expect a further hike in scrap prices in the coming days. The spread of the UK strain of COVID-19 in Europe has stopped some leading steelmakers from booking raw material despite depleting inventories.
The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $449/mt cfr Port Qasim, unchanged from Thursday. Offers were above $450-455/mt cfr Port Qasim for containers of mixed #1 HMS and P&S sarya. Some Dubai yards were targeting higher in absence of other major suppliers while a few chose to cater to the domestic market.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $451.25/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $1.18/mt from Thursday on rising offers
Billet and rebar
Domestic billet prices surged by $75-80/mt in the last two weeks driven by high imported scrap prices. On Monday, the domestic Bala billet traded at PKR106,500-107,500/mt ex-works from the prior week.
In Karachi, all major rebar makers hiked prices citing high ferrous scrap prices in the international market. A major mill kept rebar asking rates at PKR134,500-135,500/mt ex-works Karachi for 12-32mm rebar.
Severe winter in many regions of the country has halted construction in rural areas, while large infra projects catered by leading steelmakers faced cash-flow issues. HMS and P&S offered at around PKR85,000-86,000/mt ex-yard Lahore. Pure Q Toke (shredded) traded at PKR86,500/mt ex-yards amid rising demand and lower availability. Offers for scrapped vessels remained stable at $430-450/ldt cfr Pakistan.