Tight scrap flows seen buoying January tags

Dec 21, 2012 | 03:08 PM | Sean Davidson

Tags  scrap, ferrous scrap, Sean Davidson, Lisa Gordon

NEW YORK — Tighter scrap flows due to cold weather, reinvigorated demand from steelmakers and strengthening export markets will likely bolster domestic ferrous scrap prices in January, market players agree.

Every scrap market participant surveyed by AMM this past week on their January outlook predicted steady or positive pricing trends for the coming month, with about half of respondents expecting a flat to slightly up market and the other half expecting a larger increase of about $10 to $20 a gross ton.

Only a small number speculated that prices would rise more than $30 per ton when January scrap pricing settles, while not a single player forecast a pricing decline.

But those predictions could change if a major event—such as a large snowstorm, a "fiscal cliff" shutdown or a possible export dock labor strike—comes into play in the next several weeks, sources said.

In the Midwest, for example, several sources said January pricing will largely depend on how much snowfall the region receives over the next 10 days, as well as how quickly transportation along the Mississippi River recovers.....

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