NEW YORK Weaker ferrous
scrap tags and offers to Turkey and India have encouraged some
East Coast exporters to drop buying prices at their yards,
according to market participants, with others poised to
Some exporters began lowering
buying prices after both the bulk and containerized scrap
export markets softened this past week.
Exports of containerized scrap
ground to a halt after Indian buyers dropped their bids by up
to $25 per tonne (
amm.com, Nov. 27). A day later, a bulk sale to
Turkey was concluded at about $395 per tonne for an 80/20 mix
of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt, a $12-per-tonne drop from
mid-November prices (
amm.com, Nov. 28).
By late Thursday, several
domestic suppliers of heavy melt to East Coast export yards
from New England to the Southeast said exporters had dropped
buying prices by up to $20 per ton at some locations. Other
yards are largely expected to follow in coming days.
Most sources said exporters have
lowered No. 1 heavy melt buying prices to anywhere between $310
and $330 per ton, depending on local or remote shipment and the
location of the export yard.
"I was quoted $310 per gross ton
for No. 1 heavy melt. The reason given was that there were no
sales looking forward," said one source who supplies yards in
New Jersey and Philadelphia.
A second source who supplies the
same region said he had received an offer of $325 per ton.
"Some are a little higher to fill old orders," he said.
A third Mid-Atlantic source
confirmed the downward price trend. "The export yards are
trying to push prices down due to Turkey buying scrap out of
Europe. They dropped $10 to $20 per ton," he said.
In New England, sources said
buying prices at some export yards in Boston and Portsmouth,
N.H., were slashed by between $10 and $12 per ton.
"The prices have dropped about
$10. The overseas market is weakening but I think this $10 drop
might be the end of it for the rest of the year," a New
England-based source said.
Two other sources in the region,
however, said they had yet to hear of any price drops.
"They have not dropped us yet,"
said one New England supplier. "I have heard that the market
will be sideways for December. "If anything, it could go down
maybe $10 to $20 per ton. I think there is an abundance of
material right now, but I think it will be short-lived and
prices will continue to creep up into next year."
Sources said that Southeast
yards also had dropped prices, although one denied the talk,
contenting that export yard buying prices at ports in Georgia
and Florida remained unchanged this past week.
"We have not seen any price
drops in the Southeast at this time," he said. "Some buyers are
beginning to tell suppliers that prices may be down in December
due to weaker export prices."
The recent weakness in export
yard pricing may be temporary, one broker said, calling on
suppliers to stay bullish.
"Prices may have dropped but
there are still buyers. We believe the $410-per-tonne delivered
Turkey sale will still happen. (Exporters) are using the small
pieces of information out there about some stagnation to parley
that into a $5 trade advantage," he said. "Bottom line: stick
to your knitting. Demand is still alive and well, even though
there has been a pause. Turkey and the domestic U.S. mills will
need scrap come January. Guys will not sell many tons and they
will be rewarded for it."