Scrap mart eyes higher prices as mills turn eager buyers

Dec 02, 2009 | 11:41 AM | Michael Marley

Christmas might come earlier and deliver a bigger bang for ferrous scrap suppliers this year, with industry sources saying many steel mills are anxious to buy.

Most mills are issuing what are called TBD purchase orders, which means the price is yet to be determined. In other words, they expect to pay more for scrap this month and are unsure what they will pay but they want the scrap shipped now.

This is unusual market behavior for December, when the mills usually hibernate and scrap inventories at the mills and in dealers yards are traditionally at their lowest. Some believe the steel orders are flowing into the mills because of the low level of imports and the weak dollar.

Some of the earliest sales have put shredded at $280 to $285 per long ton in the Pittsburgh and Ohio markets. That is up about $45 to $50 per ton from the levels paid at the start of last month. Sales of No. 1 dealer bundles have been made at $315 per ton in the same region, an increase of $55 per ton in the same comparison.....

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