Ferrous scrap tags leap up to $25/ton for Dec.

Dec 01, 2010 | 09:59 AM |

Christmas is coming early for scrap, with prices climbing as much as $25 per ton as mills scramble to pick up tight supplies of ferrous material in the holiday-shortened month.

At least one early player is having little luck trying to pick up shredded scrap, with offers that are up $25 per long ton from last month's delivered-to-the-mill price of $370 per ton, industry sources said.

On the East Coast, some mills have already boosted their buying prices for No. 1 heavy melting steel scrap to more than $350 per ton and are near or close to offering $400 per ton for shredded scrap.

The price gains are being driven by the absence of much scrap, as well as fears that exporters might still be short scrap for orders they booked last month and who might also soon be pushing their buying prices higher.

Market prices could be up by as much as $40 per ton in some regions this month, some traders and brokers said. Driving these gains are stronger orders for sheet steel products ahead of announced price hikes by several major mills, tight supplies of scrap and the likelihood that these could tighten further if we see some earlier-than-usual winter snowstorms.

One Midwest broker said the mills are indicating that their order books are stronger as they head into the first quarter of next year. At the same time, many of these mills were tight-fisted in their scrap buys last month and have little or no excess inventory on hand.....

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