The weekly Davis Index for basic pig iron (BPI) remained sideways on Thursday at $347/mt cfr New Orleans, as the US domestic ferrous scrap market remains soft.
Prices for BPI are expected to remain flat as Brazil enters a severe rainy season that will affect production, and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) producers have increased hot metal usage for steelmaking, rather than for pig iron generation.
Last week, a BPI cargo from the CIS was sold to the US for $348/mt cfr Nola, while another was confirmed from the CIS to the US that sold for $346/mt cfr Nola. No new BPI deals transpired this week and offers originating from the CIS and Brazil remain at $350/mt cfr Nola with no confirmed bids.
The Index for nodular pig iron (NPI) imports is flat at $418/mt cfr Nola, with no new sales this week. The last offers heard declined to $405-430/mt cfr Nola from $430-440/mt cfr Nola, with no confirmed bids at that level.
The weekly Davis Index for US hot briquetted iron (HBI) imports remained flat at $254/mt cfr New Orleans. No HBI import deals to North America were reported this week, however, the material is moving to other locations.
US domestic ferrous scrap prices dropped this week by $10-30/gt compared to January levels, with considerable variance based on region and material sold.
There is uncertainty heading into spring for US metallics imports, such as pig iron, not destined for coastal mills or the lower river due to the river systems’ upcoming infrastructure work, which will begin May 2020.
Illinois River lock repairs will stop north- and south-bound movements for four months, during which time some activities will be reduced or halted. Pig iron imports and other scrap alternatives will be diverted to avoid expensive transloads, and consumers will likely need to plan around these interruptions.