NEW YORK Mixed sentiments
have crept into the ferrous scrap export market as East Coast
shippers of containerized scrap to India wrestle to make sense
of contrasting reports.
A number of market participants
in the United States, Europe and India reported sales of
containerized shredded scrap this past week at prices anywhere
between $430 and $443 per tonne c.f.r. Nhava Sheva. For most,
these prices were unchanged from the previous weeks
However, some exporters denied
reports of sales on the higher end of that range, insisting
that no sales were completed above $435 per tonne.
"Sentiment has soured in India,
as expected. It is a buyers market now," said one source,
claiming that sales of container shred to India were between
$430 and $435 per tonne c.f.r. Nhava Sheva this past week.
"Market sentiment for September
is weak," agreed Mumbai source. "Prices will likely correct,
and I dont think U.S. prices will hold. I think a
drop-off around $10 to $20 per tonne is likely."
Another exporter to India said
that a drop in production due to power cuts has made buyers at
Indian mills nervous. "Therefore, we are seeing people in India
trying to renege their contracts," the exporter said.
However, a fourth source offered
a different perspective, citing recent strength in the Indian
market from his vantage point.
"(The) Indian market has seen
some positive developments this week. (The) price for
ship-breaking scrap has gone up by $25 per tonne," he said. "I
heard that a U.S. supplier offered 25,000 tonnes (of) shred and
15,000 tonnes of an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt at
$445 per tonne c.f.r. West Coast India. There were no takers at
these levels (but) in general, there is hope that (the) market
Another source suggested that
U.S. East Coast docks had dropped f.a.s. prices by $10 to a
range of $375 to $380 from between $385 and $390 previously,
but other sources contested those reports, saying that there
had been no changes this past week.
"It appears September U.S.
domestic is going to be weak," the first source said. "Yards
are returning calls or sending signals with their intent to
sell, i.e., f.a.s. is also a buyers market now."
But a buyer for a Mid-Atlantic
steel mill that competes with exporters for scrap said it was
still too early to make such a call.
"I will not be in market until
after Labor Day. Docks have not lowered their prices since the
beginning of month, even if they have sold at less dollars of
late. So (the) market around here is in a wait-and-see mode,"
Meanwhile on the West Coast,
some exporters of containerized scrap said that export volumes
to Taiwan dropped over the past five days. Declining demand
also affected prices for container HMS1&2 (80:20), which
traded between $390 and $395 per tonne c.f.r. Taiwan.
"Transaction volume has
decreased this week going to Taiwan, and prices are closer to
$390 per tonne," said a source at a Taiwanese mill.
"At the beginning of the week,
we went to $395 for two days and dropped back to $390 and then
stopped buying. The mills in Taiwan are contemplating
production reduction, as the finished market is still very
weak," he added.
"We sold containers at $390 for
September delivery, but it looks like the market is going
down," agreed a second West Coast source. "Reports from local
Taiwan scrapyards say the mills are refusing to take their
scrap at current levels. They say the price will be down $30
per tonne within a month. We will wait and see. And in the
meantime, we took orders for October at $385."
Market participants said
Thailand is active at the same $390-per-tonne price level but
is sourcing most of its scrap from South and Central America at
South Korea is also sourcing
some scrap from the region, with AMM confirming a
small-volume sale of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $370 c.f.r. Korea
for scrap shipped from Latin America.
Overall, sources said it has
been a quiet week for U.S. sales.
"There were two typhoons in the
Taiwan region that have curtailed export activity this week,"
said a third West Coast participant. "Pricing has been flat on
containers, although material is still moving. The Asian rebar
market is still struggling, putting a ceiling on any price
momentum. The only bright spot has been an increase in scrap
prices in Japan. We hope that this might be an indication of
future trends, as supplies remain constricted."
This past Monday, Tokyo Steel
Manufacturing Co. Ltd. raised its scrap purchase prices for the
second time in less than a week for a combined increase of
between 2,000 and 3,000 yen ($25 to $37) (
amm.com, Aug. 20).
Meanwhile, a source in Los Angeles reported exports of auto
bundles via containers to China at about $300 per tonne