Imported ferrous scrap offers to Pakistan were firm on Wednesday, but mills were unwilling to pay high prices which resulted in limited trades. Following a currency depreciation and high input costs, rebar prices jumped earlier by PKR6,000/mt. Flat steel producers ASML and ISL raised HRC and CRC prices in the domestic market by PKR5,850/mt ($35/mt) on ex works basis, effective from Sept 1.
Pakistan currency further depreciated to 167.3 on Wednesday from 165.3 on August 30. It has depreciated over 3pc in a month which has resulted in successive rise of finished steel prices.
As domestic steel prices strengthened, sellers were hopeful for higher price acceptance in Pakistan and kept offers elevated. The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded on Wednesday settled at $522.5/mt cfr Qasim, down $1.5/mt. Offers however from the EU and UK were mostly at $525/mt cfr Port Qasim on Wednesday against buying interest at $520/mt cfr Qasim.
In Turkey, imported bulk ferrous scrap prices were unchanged as markets remained silent. Meanwhile, South Korean mills targeted lower bids for bulk imports as Japanese ferrous scrap prices softened.
Following low bids from Indian mills, UAE origin containerised HMS prices declined on Tuesday. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) inched down by $1/mt to $487/mt cfr port Qasim. Trades for UAE-origin mixed #1 HMS and P&S were flat at $502-505/mt cfr Port Qasim.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $486.25/mt cfr Port Qasim, down $1.25/mt from a day prior. Some sellers were under pressure following initial indications of September domestic monthly bookings in the US to open lower by $10-40/mt than the prior month.
Demand for finished steel could pick up in the domestic market from mid-September as monsoon recedes and new infrastructural demand emerges in the country.
Rebar asking prices on Wednesday in Punjab were PKR175,000-176,000/mt ex works. Local rebar traded at PKR160,000/mt ex works.
Similarly, asking rates for domestic Bala billet on Wednesday rose to PKR141,500-142,000/mt ex-works, up PKR1,500-2,000/mt from Friday.
Domestic scrap Art Q toke scrap (equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S) rose to PKR109,500/mt ex-yards while Pure Q toke scrap (equivalent to shredded) at PKR112,000/mt ex-yard Lahore, respectively, amid tight supply and surge in demand.