NEW YORK The Mid-Atlantic
ferrous scrap markets have emerged as the strongest this month
as prices in Philadelphia increased for significant obsolete
and prime scrap grades.
Strong demand from export docks,
relatively tighter supply compared with other regions of the
country, and an aggressive buying drive from a recently
restarted mill gave the market the impetus it needed to drive
No. 1 heavy melt scrap prices
jumped to $397 per gross ton, on average, with sources
reporting heavy trades anywhere between $10 and $20 per ton
higher than April, depending on where mills started early last
month. Heavy melt sales were reported for varying volumes at
between $390 and $405 per ton, but participants said
significant volumes had traded in the higher ranges to bring a
$397-per-ton average for May.
"Heavy melt made the biggest
jump because the flows have been very weak. People have scrap,
but not a lot," a large dealer said.
Among other major obsolete
grades, shredded steel and 5-foot plate and structural scrap
recorded a $10-per-ton increase to $445 and $435 per ton,
"Philadelphia was boring this
month. The activity was in Maryland. They came out with high
prices and volumes. If you got out first, you were OK," one
consumer said, referring to the impact on this months
market of a recently restarted competitor.
While prime grades didnt
enjoy the same bump as the obsolete scrap grades, both No. 1
bundles and No. 1 busheling settled $5 per ton higher at $462
"One large consumer was not in
the spot market for prime because it decided to only take in
contract volumes. That kept primes from rising further," a
second dealer said.
A large broker said prime grades
should have risen further due to increased participation from
the regions mills and lower industrial activity.
"In the Midwest, automotive is
generating a lot of scrap, but theres not much industrial
scrap around the Mid-Atlantic. What is available is tied into
contracts, so primes should have gone up more," he said.