US containerized ferrous scrap prices are encountering a lull after the price increases last week with indexes remaining unchanged or decreasing on the West Coast and increasing or staying flat in New York. The indexes reflect movements over the course of the week but have yet to incorporate the latest uncertainty as buyers adopted a wait and see approach.
Freight rates have increased, as a result of lower container traffic originating from Asia, and buyers have retreated from the market due to uncertainty over Covid-19’s impact on trade and an expectation of ferrous scrap prices declining in tandem with global economic and stock market indicators.
Steel inventories in Southeast Asian mills continue to limit scrap demand while the decline in Turkey’s domestic rebar has brought uncertainty to future Turkish import scrap deals. Turkish deals increased by $20/mt through the month with the last US-origin deal reported at $280/mt cfr on HMS 1&2 (80:20).
In New York prices either remained flat or increased, depending on grade, as offers improved early in the week on higher Turkish scrap import prices and positive sentiment for the March US domestic scrap trading week. The Davis Index for #1 busheling in New York remained unchanged at $279/mt fas, while the index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) increased by $6/mt to $250/mt fas. The index for turnings increased by $16/mt to $218/mt fas, P&S 5ft increased by $1/mt to $270/mt fas, and shredded increased by $2/mt to $270/mt fas.
Turnings tend to encounter wider fluctuations in price movements than other grades.
According to market participants, shredded scrap via containers was not moving on Thursday and weak export demand could place downward pressure on offers next week.
In Los Angeles, the Davis Index for containerized ferrous scrap remained flat for #1 busheling at $249/mt fas, HMS 1&2 (80:20) held at $220/mt fas, P&S 5ft was unchanged at $239/mt fas, and shredded remained at $240/mt fas.
In Seattle too, the Davis Index for containerized ferrous scrap was flat as offers held at last week’s levels amid no buying interest. The index for #1 busheling remained at $250/mt fas, HMS 1&2 (80:20) was unchanged at $224/mt fas, P&S 5ft held at $250/mt fas, and shredded was flat at $249/mt fas.
The Davis Index for containerized ferrous scrap exported from San Francisco was unchanged or decreased with #1 busheling flat at $253/mt fas, HMS 1&2 (80:20) declining by $1/mt to $223/mt fas, P&S 5ft decreasing by $3/mt to $250/mt fas, and shredded falling by $2/mt to $252/mt fas.