Imported ferrous scrap prices in Pakistan finally picked up on Wednesday with the indication of more trades at higher prices in the coming days. Domestic demand was limited as mills offered discounts to liquidate their finished steel inventories. In Bangladesh, few buyers were active as trades were limited to containers. However, enquiries increased as suppliers hiked offers.
Offers surpassed an eight-month high and may soon reach year’s high as the bullish trend in Turkey continues. Scrap inventories at Pakistani mills remain limited while Bangladeshi steelmakers await an improvement in end-user demand to resume bulk trades.
Pakistan steel mills have resumed enquiries for imported scrap on Wednesday as non-availability of low-priced offers forced them to accept higher prices. Pakistani buyers are expected to book containers as demand from downstream sectors has been recovering to pre-COVID levels. Infra projects aided by Chinese investors would help the country’s steel sector to recover faster, anticipate local steel mills.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded Wednesday settled at $323/mt cfr Port Qasim unchanged from Tuesday as mills in Pakistan showed a limited appetite for imported scrap amid weak rebar demand. Trades for UK-origin shredded in containers were heard at $321-323/mt cfr Qasim pushing offers to $325-328/mt cfr Qasim on Wednesday.
Most HRC buyers in Pakistan were active for trades from China. Optimisms on strengthening trade relations with China and along with investments for construction projects in Pakistan will benefit the steel sector.
The Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) Wednesday settled at $309.5/mt cfr Port Qasim, up $2/mt from the prior day. Trades for UAE-origin mixed #1 HMS and P&S sarya scrap were at $312-313/mt cfr Port Qasim. The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $308/mt cfr Port Qasim, up $1/mt as most offers were at $310-312/mt cfr Qasim against bids of $305/mt cfr Qasim.
In the domestic market, Bala billet prices reported at PKR91,500/mt ex-works Punjab with limited trades being materialised. Higher imported scrap pushed domestic Pure Q toke scrap equivalent to shredded to PKR70,300-70,500/mt ex-works Lahore. Mills are struggling with limited cash flow and weak steel demand.
Finished steel prices in Southern Pakistan dropped by PKR2,000-2,500/mt from last week. Leading steelmakers offered discounts to liquidate their inventories. Rebar trades were reported at PKR105,00-107,000/mt ex Karachi after discounts. Gadani’s shipbreaking market was upbeat fueled by strong global cues. Enquiries improved, though, trades remained slow amid a cash crunch.
Bangladesh’s domestic steel market showed signs of revival, however, uncertainty on end-user demand remains a cause of concern. Most infrastructure projects have resumed and demand is expected to return to normalcy in mid-September, with major mills turning 100pc operational.
Many steelmakers are struggling to settle their due for the April-May months amid severe cash crunch and weak sales of construction steel. Mills are liquidating finished steel inventories at discounts to clear dues and avoid defaults. This is preventing domestic steel prices from rising despite recovering demand.
The Davis Index for containerized shredded settled at $328/mt cfr Chattogram Wednesday, unchanged from Tuesday. Trades were reported at $325-330/mt cfr Chattogram for UK-origin material, while offers for EU and Australia-origin were around $315-325/mt cfr Chattogram varying by quality. Trades are expected to increase on improving domestic fundamentals. Small scale mills were running on limited raw material as Indian Sponge iron prices remain a non-viable option.
Trades for containerised UK-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) reported at $320/mt cfr Chattogram, up $5/mt from the prior week. The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $319/mt cfr Chattogram, up by $2/mt from Tuesday. Sellers offered HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $320/mt cfr Chattogram, while buyers were still at $315-318/mt cfr Chattogram.
The index for Latin America-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $310.1/mt cfr Chattogram, up by $1.57/mt from Monday. A few containers for Brazilian HMS 1&2 (80:20) traded at $308-310/mt cfr Chattogram, while #1 HMS of South Africa and South America origin traded at $317-320/mt cfr Chattogram.
Domestic shipbreaking scrap equivalent to P&S traded at BDT30,300-30,500/mt del mill on Wednesday while HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at BDT29,000/mt ex-Chattogram. Most small and medium scale steelmakers in Dhaka expect prices to drop further in the coming days by around BDT1,500-2,000/mt. Small scale producers offered rebar at BDT49,000-49,500/mt ex-works.
($1= PKR166.22; BDT84.78)