Demand for ferrous scrap is there, but not the ships

Dec 14, 2007 | 11:36 AM | Michael Marley

Demand for U.S. ferrous scrap by offshore steelmakers is strong, industry sources said, but the ongoing shortage of ships and record high freight rates have driven shippers to rely more heavily on containers to carry the metal overseas.

One East Coast trader said Turkish steel mills have become active buyers again ahead of the upcoming Eid al-Adha religious holiday, but much of that business has gone to scrap suppliers in Western Europe and the United Kingdom. Prices paid for the 80-20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melting steel scrap have exceeded $390 a tonne delivered to Turkish ports, he said.

While demand is stronger on both the East and West coasts, ship availability remains an ongoing problem in the East, the trader said, and exporters and others are making more use of containers. "Right now," he said, "we're seeing a lot more business from Mexico, India and even the domestic scrap market, as well as Turkey."....

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