US ferrous scrap traders see revival of Turk buys

Dec 15, 2009 | 11:29 AM | Michael Marley

U.S. ferrous scrap traders are expecting another round of buying by Turkish steelmakers to begin this week, ending what had been a drought of orders from the eastern Mediterranean nation.

"Thus far, (Turkish steelmakers) have been buying mainly from Europe, but we expect them to be back in the U.S. market this week," one trader said, adding that they could only get so much scrap from Europe before players there react and start bumping up prices.

Another U.S. trader pointed to the slow but steady climb in buying prices at U.S. East Coast docks in the past week as a sign that exporters are anticipating new orders from Turkey and are trying to amass inventories to meet that demand. Some yards have increased their local heavy melt buying prices to between $240 and $245 per ton in the past week, but local mills are staying a step ahead and have raised their No. 1 heavy price to $255 per ton, he added.

Further inland, where exporters had better luck in previous buying binges, prices for No. 1 heavy melt are already at the $250- to $260-per-ton level. "I don't know how much luck (the exporters) are having because supplies in U.S. dealers' yards are low and the domestic mills are paying more competitive prices because scrap supplies were so low in December," another trader said.....

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