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East Coast scrap export tags steady

Keywords: Tags  ferrous scrap, scrap exports, shredded steel, heavy melt, Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — The U.S. East Coast ferrous scrap export market remained unchanged in the past week despite just one bulk cargo sale to Turkey and minimal interest from India.

Some market participants said Friday’s bulk sale to Turkey at $450 per tonne c.f.r. for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melting steel scrap indicated possible firming in the market. The bulk shipment was comprised mostly of shredded steel scrap, which sold at $455 per tonne c.f.r., as well as some plate and structural scrap, which went for $460 per tonne c.f.r., sources said.

"Just one sale at the previous week’s prices is good. It looks like the market is firming up in Turkey," a source at one large exporter said. "Turkish mills are looking for $460 for shred and $450 for 80/20 heavy melt. U.S. exporters will probably end up selling at $455 for shred, which is still a good price. I expect more action from Turkey this week."

Friday’s sale paled in comparison to the previous week, when East Coast exporters shipped four bulk cargoes to Turkey—three at the same price levels noted above and a fourth a bit higher at $453 per tonne c.f.r. for an 80/20 mix of heavy melt and $463 per tonne c.f.r. for plate and structural scrap.

As large exporters look to Turkey for increased purchases this week, shippers of containerized scrap likely will encounter another week of resistance from India as the rupee continues to deteriorate vs. the U.S. dollar.

U.S. shredded steel scrap offers to India were unchanged last week in a range of $490 to $495 per tonne c.f.r. Nhava Sheva, India, with some offers reported at $485 per tonne, although sources said very few, if any, containers had sold at that level.

"The market here on spot has gone down due to the sudden fall of (the Indian) rupee," a Mumbai-based importer of U.S. scrap said. "Booking on containers to India from the U.S. is being offered at $470 for 80/20 heavy melt and $485 for shred. With negotiation, shred can be available at the $480 level but (there is) no interest now."

At least two sources said the Indian market could fall further to a range of $470 to $475 per tonne for containerized shredded scrap. The upcoming monsoon season, when construction grinds to a halt, will be a major driver, sources said.

Market participants said one U.S. bulk cargo was offered at $493 per tonne c.f.r. Chennai for a mix of shredded and plate and structural, but prices were still being negotiated down.

One East Coast exporter said 80/20 heavy melt was trading at about $425 per tonne f.a.s. Newark, N.J., last week for 20-foot containers, with 40-foot containers at around $407 per tonne. Meanwhile, shredded scrap stood at $445 per tonne f.a.s. Newark, he added.

Container prices for shredded scrap out of Baltimore dropped as much as $8 per tonne last week, another exporter said.

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