Hefty ferrous scrap exports contrast skinny US market

Nov 14, 2006 | 02:13 PM | Michael Marley

If demand for ferrous scrap in the U.S. market looks like a 90-pound weakling, scrap exporters say the offshore market is a Charles Atlas.

Offshore demand is strongest for East Coast shippers, but their West Coast counterparts have been seeing a surge in buying from South Korea to accompany the steady flow of business from steelmakers in other Southeast Asian countries. They have stepped in to fill the gap left by Chinese scrap importers, who have booked only a few cargoes for some small and mid-sized mills in the past few months and not a pound for the country's largest mills.

One Pacific Rim trader said six cargoes, equivalent to about 200,000 tonnes, were booked for delivery to Korea in the past two weeks by West Coast exporters. Several of the cargoes reportedly are destined for one steel mill that is slated to start a new electric furnace in January and has been amassing scrap in preparation. The shredded scrap sold for $284 a tonne delivered, he said, while the No. 1 heavy melting steel portion was about $5 a tonne lower.....

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