The US containerized ferrous scrap indexes were mostly rangebound on the East Coast and West Coast on Thursday as some buyers withdrew from higher-priced offers and those that remained sought scrap inventories at close to unchanged levels.
Gains were achieved last week after buyers hesitated in the previous week. Buyer indecision returned this week amid increasing domestic and global scrap prices. Sellers on the West Coast expected scrap prices to rise by $10-15/mt on containers this week and anticipate a further rise due to the increase in dock prices, bulk export prices, and tight scrap inventories. Buyers who were tentative about purchasing early in September are expected to return to firm higher prices the second week of the month.
The bulk market received increased support on continued strong sentiment due to higher Turkish import scrap prices that are approaching $300/mt cfr Turkey for HMS 1&2 (80:20), continued tight scrap inventories globally, and bulk demand from Asian countries.
The weekly Davis Indexes in New York decreased or remained unchanged on Thursday with #1 busheling, HMS1&2 (80:20), and machine shop turnings all declining by $1/mt to $285/mt fas, $262/mt fas, and $234/mt fas, respectively. P&S 5ft continuing unchanged at $282/mt fas as did shredded, which held at $277/mt fas.
In Los Angeles, the Davis Indexes increased marginally with #1 busheling up by $2/mt to $275/mt fas while HMS 1&2 (80:20) was flat at $252/mt fas. The index for P&S 5ft rose by $3/mt to $273/mt fas while shredded scrap increased by $1/mt to $273/mt fas.
Asian buyers are showing an appetite for scrap and are concerned over increasing scrap prices that may not be realized at the finished steel sales levels in their domestic markets. Despite the uncertainty, sellers report, that yards are very limited in scrap inventories and are likely to remain that way through the next month, unlike the past years when some yards stockpiled their scrap. Higher domestic scrap demand by the US, Japanese, and CIS mills will place pressure on domestic inventories and further support export scrap prices.
The Davis Indexes in San Francisco remained unchanged after last week’s $7-9/mt increase. The index for #1 busheling was unchanged at $267/mt fas, HMS 1&2 (80:20) held at $247/mt fas, shredded was flat at $266/mt fas, and P&S 5ft climbed by $1/mt to $267/mt fas.
The weekly Davis Indexes in Seattle increased for most grades with #1 busheling rising by $6/mt to $269/mt fas alongside P&S 5ft, which increased by $4/mt to $266/mt fas. Shredded climbed by $6/mt to $268/mt fas. HMS 1&2 (80:20) was the only grade to decline, slipping by $2/mt to $246/mt fas.