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US scrap export prices soar on Turkish return

Keywords: Tags  ferrous scrap exports, HMS 1&2 (80:20), Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — Turkish steel mills returned to U.S. docks this week and sent ferrous scrap export prices spiraling as three bulk cargoes traded in two days.

Market participants said that two exporters booked sales to three different Turkish mills at prices more than $20 per tonne above the last reported bulk sale.

One exporter reportedly sold a bulk cargo of a 90:10 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt scrap and shredded scrap, with the HMS 1&2 (90:10) priced at $416 per tonne c.f.r. and the shred at $421 per tonne c.f.r.

A second exporter reportedly completed two sales to different Turkish buyers. Sources said one mixed bulk cargo was sold at $416 per tonne c.f.r. for HMS 1&2 (90:10) and $426 per tonne for plate and structural scrap, indicating a bigger premium for the latter.

One source said the same exporter sold another cargo of 40,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $414 per tonne c.f.r.—a $30-per-tonne increase over the last U.S. sale to Turkey, which had valued HMS 1&2 (80:20) at between $383 and $384 per tonne c.f.r.

The sales come after nearly 10 trading days of higher offers from the United States, which gained further support from rising domestic tags.

Last week, Turkish buyers chose to pick up cheaper tons from Europe, leaving U.S. exporters dry despite the better quality of scrap.

U.S. offers to Turkey moved as high as $415 per tonne c.f.r. for HMS 1&2 (80:20) but scrap from Britain and Europe was available at between $10 and $20 lower. For example, sources said last Friday that one cargo of 20,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) was sold by a British trader to a Turkish mill at $399 per tonne c.f.r. İskenderun.

Sources were divided on whether this week’s price increases on U.S. exports to Turkey indicated a truly stronger market or rather a temporary spike in which Turkish mills were forced to follow the U.S. domestic market.

"Demand for finished steel products remains challenging in the (United States) and outside," one source said. "Prices have already cooled in the United States, and it’s anyone’s guess if the same will happen with exports."

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