Ferrous scrap’s fall to ‘silly’ level ignites concern

Oct 29, 2008 | 10:19 AM | Michael Marley

Ferrous scrap prices in the United States and Europe continue to plunge to what are being described as ridiculous levels that have driven market activity to a standstill, sparking concern.

Ferrous scrap dealers and traders in the U.S. market say they are now more troubled by the absence of demand from steel mills than the declining price of ferrous scrap.

U.S. steel mill operating rates, which have been on a steady slide for the past two months, dipped to the 70-percent level during the past week, according to data from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AMM, Oct. 29).

Scrap buyers at the mills and their brokers have pulled back from the market and given their suppliers little or no indication of how much purchased scrap they will need next month or even whether they will be buyers.....

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