April ferrous scrap trading will begin next week and from preliminary discussions with market participants, the ferrous market seems to be gaining strength.
The US domestic ferrous scrap market in April was slated to drop by $10-30/gt on obsolete grades such as #1 HMS, shredded, and P&S 5ft against March settled numbers as reported by Davis Index on Mar 22.
The Southeast and some lower Midwest markets expected prices to decline in April by $20-40/gt on obsolete grades compared to March on increased feedstock in spring. Prime grades were expected to trend sideways to slightly up depending on mill and region on limited supplies.
Now, the Southeast has firmed up expectations on obsolete grades as sideways to down $10-20/gt depending on the region while prime grades may gain $10/gt against the already high March settled prices on tight inventories.
Some Ohio Valley and East Coast market participants are reporting an expectation of a price drop of $10-20/gt on obsolete grades due to strong domestic demand and export support. Ferrous scrap prices in the Pacific Northwest are expected to fall $10-15/gt on obsolete grades against March settled prices.
Ferrous scrap prices in Texas are tracking behind the increases experienced in other regions last month, due to the electric disruptions during the unusual winter frost. Thus, prices are anticipated to trend sideways to up on obsoletes depending on mill concessions in March. Texas traded sideways to up $20/gt as the rest of the major scrap markets traded at $45-55/gt up against February prices.
The latest daily Davis Index for Turkish import for HMS 1&2 (80:20) has increased by $6.27/mt to $425.44/mt cfr on Friday against $419.17/mt cfr on Mar 22. Turkish mills are expected to continue actively purchasing bulk scrap for May shipments. Asian buyers have also accepted higher bulk and container ferrous scrap prices over the past week.
Hot rolled coil (HRC) prices are trending up at $1,411-1,455/mt ($1,280-1,320/nt) fob mill, up $22-45/mt compared to two weeks ago. Cold rolled coil (CRC) prices continue trending about $200-220/mt above HRC prices.