NEW YORK The Chicago
ferrous scrap market has settled mostly sideways this month
across most grades, with busheling scrap recording slight price
A narrow spread between prices
of shredded steel scrap and the prime grade of No. 1 busheling
scrap encouraged several mills to increase their purchases of
busheling scrap and lower their shredded intake, market
"Electric (furnace) mills are
buying more busheling this month than shred, which should have
pushed down the price of shred. But some people took the easy
way out and just settled for a sideways market without trying
too hard to negotiate better shred prices," one source
As a result, shredded prices
remain unchanged at $430 per gross ton. However, No. 1
busheling scrap has fallen $3 from last month to $445 per ton
for May, sources said. The slight drop was despite a push by
some mills to keep busheling prices flat, some sources
A second source said integrated
mills entered the market early at sideways prices on busheling
in order to prevent electric-arc furnace (EAF) mills from
pushing the price down.
"Integrateds came out sideways
and the EAFs came out down. They balked when we said we were
keeping prices sideways. I heard of some prime sales down a
little, but that was the extent of it because there were other
buyers for prime. We were able to sell to a mill that never
buys busheling. Another mill that usually buys shred bought
busheling, so we could fight the drop," he said.
"The integrateds vs. the EAFs is
always a possibility. It used to happen a few years ago,"
according to one consumer, who also went sideways on busheling
Consumers made early attempts to
drive busheling prices down by as much as $10 per ton, but the
fear of closing in on shredded prices prevented the full drop,
a large broker/consumer said.
"Its not a perfect market.
I understand whats happening, but busheling should really
have dropped due to excess supply. Or shred should have dropped
with more mills chasing busheling," he said.
Most sellers said they held
their ground because they were in no hurry to sell prime
No. 1 heavy melt scrap prices
were unchanged from last month at $405 per ton, with only one
consumer saying he had managed some buys a couple of dollars
lower. "I got more heavy melt offred to me than normal, so I
took advantage of it," he said.
Buying programs for most mills
were a tad lower on heavy melt, but not enough to significantly
impact the market, sources said.
Plate and structural scrap also
trended sideways, with 5-foot max prices flat at $425 per