Pakistani steel mills booked limited volumes of imported ferrous scrap. Steelmakers stayed in the market amid hopes of a spur in demand after Eid. But amid the rising COVID-19 cases, stringent restrictions along with Ramadan lull could slow trading.
Ferrous scrap suppliers were bullish on expectations of firm steel prices with China lowering export rebates on around 146 steel products.
Pakistani currency recovered to PKR153.11 against $1 on Wednesday from PKR155.11 on Tuesday. This could aid overseas purchases in the coming days.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, settled at $466.79/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $2.91/mt. Around 3,000mt shredded was imported in the range $465-470/mt cfr Qasim from the EU/UK. Offers then increased further to $471-475/mt cfr Qasim on Wednesday.
In Turkey, an announcement of lockdown from April 29 to May 17 has dampened market sentiment. But manufacturing activities are being carried out at the usual pace. The daily index was at $433.13/mt cfr Turkey for bulk US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), unchanged, with a cargo trade heard at $432/mt cfr Turkey. But sellers are bullish on hopes of demand picking up in May.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, gained $1.25/mt to $443.75/mt cfr Port Qasim. Offers were at $445-450/mt cfr Qasim depending on quality for containerized HMS. Pakistan mills continued purchases of #1 HMS, P&S, and rerolling scrap from Dubai.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $448/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $3/mt from Tuesday. Trades for mixed #1 HMS and P&S from UAE were at $460/mt cfr Port Qasim with offers at $465/mt cfr Qasim, depending on quality. Limited operation and transportation hours, along with annual maintenance activities and increased power consumption has impacted supplies from the UAE. Rebar prices in UAE also remained firm.
Steel prices continue gradual uptrend
In the domestic market, Bala billet traded at PKR110,500-111,000/mt ex-works Lahore, up by PKR500/mt from Tuesday. Trades for G-60 billet were in the range at PKR114,500-115,000/mt ex-works Punjab on Wednesday.
Long steel producers in Punjab and Karachi are optimistic about steel demand after Eid.
Offers for rebar remained above PKR135,000-136,000/mt, ex-works Karachi, while in Punjab, it traded at around PKR131,500-132,000/mt ex-works. Local rebar sold at PKR121,500-122,000/mt ex-works Punjab, up PKR500-1000/mt from the prior week. With improvement in demand, most steelmakers are likely to attempt another round of price hike in the coming days.
Domestic scrap stable
Driven by a rise in imported scrap offers, domestic scrap Art Q toke equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S, Wednesday, traded at PKR90,000-90,300/mt ex-yard Lahore. Deals for Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded were at PKR91,000-91,200/mt ex-yard Lahore, unchanged from a day ago.