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Ferrous exporters drop E. Coast buying prices

Keywords: Tags  ferrous scrap, exports, Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — U.S. East Coast ferrous scrap export yards have dropped buying prices by $10 to $20 per gross ton in the past week as negative sentiment pervades the market.

Market players in Boston, New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia said large exporters had cut buying prices following weak sales to Turkey.

Export prices to Turkey fell about $20 per tonne in about two weeks after one exporter completed North America’s only bulk sale to Turkey on Thursday (AMM, May 21). The exporter offered a grim near-term outlook, saying it was unable to sell a second bulk cargo at the same marked-down price.

"Export yard buying prices have dropped about $30 per gross since earlier this month," a large supplier said. "Exporters have enough scrap and aren’t getting any export sales. They’re now trying to average down their position."

In Boston, sources said exporters announced a $10-per-gross-ton drop across most grades Monday, while New York prices were said to be down $15 per ton on average. Exporters are said to be buying No. 1 heavy melt scrap at around $375 per ton at the docks in Boston, although one supplier said there were some offers at about $380.

In New York and New Jersey, sources offered a wider range of prices at the docks, with most numbers coming in at $370 per ton for No. 1 heavy melt. But at least two suppliers said offer prices from one export yard were at $365 per ton.

"There could be more drops coming," a second supplier said. "At the moment, we’re still at $370 per ton. I’ve heard of lower numbers but haven’t been able to confirm (them)."

A third supplier said weak finished product sales in Turkey spooked the market. "Turkey’s not buying U.S. scrap. The exporters here think the bottom for No. 1 heavy melt at the docks will be between $345 and $355 per ton," he said.

A negative outlook also swept the West Coast last week, when exporters dropped buying prices by $10 per gross ton.

A source at one exporter said it was forced to push down prices as export prices of containerized scrap had dropped by as much as $13 in the previous two weeks. "There is no upside movement in prices," he said.

"The overseas markets have been weak for a while. This drop didn’t catch anyone off guard," said a West Coast supplier who anticipates a further decline in prices.

A third West Coast market participant said that while softer prices at the docks came as no surprise, it also wouldn’t surprise him "if a weaker bulk market tipped the fulcrum into a more significant downtrend."

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