NEW YORK Prices for U.S. bulk ferrous scrap exports to Turkey remained unchanged this past week as exporters and buyers in Turkey continued to negotiate a firm pricing level.
Market participants who had been hopeful of a flurry of orders from Turkish mills before Thanksgiving were left pondering over a market that reported no East Coast sales.
A reported pre-Thanksgiving sale from Houston to a Turkish mill set the rumor mills churning as sources put the price at between $399 and $408 per tonne c.f.r. for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt.
Sources also were divided on whether one or two cargoes were sold out of Houston, as some believe a Turkish mill loaded its own vessel with only HMS 1&2 (80:20) and picked up a second bulk vessel of heavy melt and shredded scrap.
While most sources believe it was a single-cargo sale, at least two sources suggested that the cargo of HMS 1&2 (80:20) will actually be shipped from the East Coast and not Houston at around $400 per tonne c.f.r. Turkey.
"Nobody knows the real price and it is not too important what (the Turkish mill) paid because they are not a reference customer. If it was another mill, people would be in a hurry to find the real price. We did not hear any other sales from the U.S. last week," one source said.
Some sources in Turkey said U.S. offers continue to hover at or near $410 per tonne c.f.r., with Turkish mills reportedly bidding between $400 and $405 per tonne. A few others said that both U.S. offers and Turkish bids were at least $5 lower than those levels.
"It all depends on who you talk to. You get a different picture from U.S. sellers and a different picture from Turkish mills," a second source said. "Conflicting rumors on transacted prices are typical when buyers and sellers are trying to find an agreeable price level in what seems to be a weaker market."
A third trader source agreed that the market was softening. "(Turkeys) domestic market for finished products is weakening. Buyers lowered price inquiries and exporters seem to be willing to accept $5 to $10 lower to (reach) the $400 level," he said.
A fourth source said Turkish mills are struggling with current pricing levels. "Turks may institute production cuts if scrap prices dont move down further," he said.
The lack of any confirmed activity from the U.S. East Coast left AMMs East Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index unchanged Monday at $382.77 per tonne f.o.b. New York for HMS 1&2 (80:20).
Meanwhile, market participants on the West Coast reported an extremely quiet week, with no trading activity, leaving AMMs West Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index unchanged Monday at $363.62 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles for HMS 1&2 (80:20).
U.S. offers of HMS 1&2 (80:20) to China were reported at around $395 per tonne c.f.r.