Turkey is back, but US scrap exports aren’t

Nov 13, 2007 | 12:28 PM | Michael Marley

Turkish steelmakers are beginning to buy more ferrous scrap from their offshore suppliers, industry sources said, largely to replenish depleted inventories of melt material.

"I don't think their business is that great. I think they worked down their inventories so much that they have to buy more in order to keep working," one East Coast trader said. "Week by week, that market seems to be strengthening."

He said he expects the ferrous scrap tonnage bought by Turkish mills to steadily increase in the next few months as winter sets in, when they will be unable to acquire much from Russian and other Black Sea scrap exporters.

But another trader said U.S. scrap exporters are having little luck chartering enough ships to carry their scrap overseas. Bulk cargo freight rates and the lack of ships are still a problem because exports of iron ore, coal and cement to China and to the Middle East are keeping shipping companies busy and they are able to demand higher rates. Freight rates to the ports in northern Asia are said to be around $100 a tonne, while ships going to southeast and southern Asia are commanding $110 to $115 a tonne. The cost to ship to Turkey from a U.S. East Coast port is between $75 and $80 a tonne.....

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