Pakistani ferrous scrap prices jumped by $10-20/mt since steelmakers looked to restock ahead of the Ramadan festival as inventories with most have depleted. A rise in domestic scrap prices and appreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar also boosted appetite for imported scrap.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded, Thursday, settled at $447.5/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $8.75/mt from Wednesday. Mills booked containerized shredded at $445-450/mt cfr Port Qasim. Suppliers’ expectations jumped following elevated global bulk prices. Most offers for shredded from the UK and EU were above $450/mt cfr Port Qasim against bids at $440/mt cfr Qasim.
A resurgence of COVID-19, however, could impact overall economic operations. Many shipping lines have announced a freight rate hike by $100-200/mt effective April 1, increasing the landed cost. There is also a possibility of more rounds of price hikes in the coming days on shortage of containers due to a dip in Chinese exports.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Thursday, settled at $420/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $2.5/mt. Most mills expect active demand after Ramadan and might need to book more material for mid-May deliveries amid low inventories. Historically, Ramadan is a very sluggish month for trades.
Offers for mixed #1 HMS and P&S offers from UAE were at $435-440/mt cfr Port Qasim, depending on quality. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $426/mt cfr Port Qasim, up by $8/mt from Wednesday. A few trades were at $425-430/mt cfr Port Qasim. There is a shortage of materials in the UAE due to active domestic demand.
High scrap prices lift rebar asking rates
On Thursday, Bala billets traded at PKR107,500-108,000/mt ex-works Lahore, at prices up by PKR500/mt than a day ago. Offers for G-60 billet were at PKR113,000-114,000/mt ex-works Punjab.
On April 1, a Punjab-based steel mill announced a price hike of PKR2,000/mt on increased imported scrap prices. Mills in Karachi are expected to announce price revision in the coming days. Rebar offers were at PKR136,000-137,000/mt ex-works Karachi from PKR132,500-133,000/mt ex-works, marginally up PKR1500-2000/mt. Local rebar offers were at PKR121,000-122,000/mt ex-works Punjab.
Domestic steel demand has shown signs of recovery as most infrastructure projects have received cash release from the government and are expected to turn active soon. Still, many furnaces in are Punjab facing financial challenges and could either shut operations or cut production by 50pc.
Prices for Art Q toke scrap equivalent to a mix of HMS and P&S, Thursday, rose by PKR500-1000/mt to PKR87,500-88,000/mt ex-yard Lahore. Trades for Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded were at PKR89,500-90,000/mt ex-yard Lahore, up by PKR1,000/mt from a day prior.
In Gadani, offers for scrapped vessels were unchanged on bullish global cues and active plate demand. Offers ranged from $470-490/ldt cnf. Ship melting scrap prices were above PKR90,500-91,000/mt ex-yards on tight supply.