Pakistani ferrous scrap importers turned active for containerized trades on Wednesday, even as global prices remained on an uptrend. Another rise in the bulk import prices seems to be in the offing as Turkish mills bought material at prices $7-8/mt more than the previous deals. Japan’s Kanto tender concluded with average bids higher by $21/mt than the prior month as Asian buyers were back in the scrap market with steel demand recovering in their respective countries.
In Pakistan, although mega infrastructure projects have resumed, the pace of work is still slow, and rebar prices have remained flat for over one and a half months. But with no seller willing to bargain, importers finally accepted the present offer levels this week.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Wednesday, moved up by $6.88/mt to $339.38/mt cfr Port Qasim. Several trades for containerized EU and UK-origin shredded were reported at prices ranging between $337-341/mt cfr Port Qasim on Tuesday-Wednesday. On Wednesday, most offers from the EU and UK were at $340-345/mt cfr Port Qasim, reaching a 20-month peak. Buyers, however, were interested in $335-338/mt cfr Port Qasim levels. Earlier, these price levels were seen in March 2019.
A trade for 2,000mt shredded from the UK was heard at $341/mt cfr Port Qasim. South America-origin scrap container (22mt loading) sold at $334-335/mt cfr Port Qasim. With shredded prices nearing $340/mt cfr, input costs for Pakistani mills are rising. Adding to their woes is also the tepid steel demand.
Trades for motors scrap were reported at $750-780/mt cfr Pakistan.
The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $327/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $4/mt from Tuesday. Mills preferred shredded over HMS scrap to avoid paying extra taxes imposed on the imports of the latter. Offers for containerized Dubai-origin mixed #1 HMS and P&S sarya scrap were at prices $330/mt cfr Port Qasim on Wednesday. The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $325/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $3.57/mt from Tuesday. Offers for the grade from the US and UK were at prices above $325/mt cfr Port Qasim against buying interest of $320/mt or lesser cfr Port Qasim.
Domestic steel prices remain unchanged
Despite bullishness in imported scrap, mills have been unable to raise steel prices as demand is under pressure. Bala billet prices were at PKR91,000-91,500/mt ($573-577/mt) ex-works Punjab. Offers for rebar from leading Karachi producers were unchanged from the prior week at PKR109,500-110,000/mt ex-works. In Punjab, mills kept their G-60 rebar offers above PKR109,000-109,500/mt ex-works.
Domestic Pure Q toke scrap, equivalent to shredded sold at PKR69,800-70,000/mt del Lahore mill, unchanged from Tuesday.
With the reduction in the power tariffs announced by the government, input costs for mills could reduce and have an impact on rebar offers. The Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers (PALSP) has hailed such a reduction in power tariffs for businesses under the Small and Medium Enterprises category.