The Davis weekly north and south UK HMS 1&2 (80:20) ferrous scrap indices plummeted £38/mt ($44/mt) and £52/mt over the past week to £97/mt and £86/mt, respectively, delivered dockside on March 24.
Concerns over the escalating COVID-19 outbreak and rumours of a nationwide “lockdown” prompted some large UK processors, particularly in the south, to slash “gate prices” and slow the influx of material.
At the same time, European mill ferrous scrap demand has been decimated by the wave of “temporary” closures across the continent, while more Spanish-based mills are expected to follow suit shortly.
Many European mills, particularly electric arc furnaces, have responded to the COVID-19 outbreak by indefinitely suspending output to protect factory workers, sanitize operations, implement safe-working procedures, and align supply with demand.
UK ferrous scrap market participants surveyed by Davis Index expressed their concerns at nationwide HMS 1&2 (80:20) dock prices falling to £115/mt late last week, with some asserting “weighbridge volumes” would soon dry up.
More recently, however, the same large processors were speechless when confronted with the fact that some south UK-based yards had dropped prices to as low as £60/mt at the beginning of this week.
The weekly index for north and south UK OA (Plate & Structural) ferrous scrap plunged £40/mt and £40/mt respectively over the past week to £123/mt delivered dockside.
At the same time, the weekly index for north and south UK 5A/5C (frag feed) dropped £20/mt and £22/mt to £55/mt and £53/mt, respectively, over the same period.
(£1 = $1.16)