NEW YORK U.S. ferrous scrap export tags to India were pressured again this week after currency markets forced buyers to retreat for the second time in a month.
U.S. exporters and market participants in India reported offer prices in a range of $410 to $420 per tonne for containerized shredded scrap delivered to Mumbais Nhava Sheva port. Offers for containers of an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt scrap were reported about $15 below that level.
Sources said very little volume had actually sold in that range, with many reporting no transactions this week.
Exporters last week logged sales at $415 to $418 per tonne c.f.r. Nhava Sheva as Indian buyers had returned to the U.S. market after a nearly two-week hiatus (amm.com, Dec. 7).
"Trading into India hasnt been so good. The India market has been really stagnant, with little demand. Buyers are asking for $400 to $405 per tonne to main ports," one U.S. exporter said.
"Frankly, all is not well with the Indian steel industry. The finished steel markets have constantly been going down over the past two months," a source based in India said. "Now the effect has spilled to the raw materials (market), which was (temporarily) in crisis due to the mining mess and other (government) controls."
Another source in India said a stronger dollar doused any buying interest this past week.
"The market is very quiet in India. Offers are around $415 to $420 (per tonne), but there are no buyers as the rupee is above 54 against the dollar," he said. "It is not making business viable, and the finished good sales are not picking up at all, which is a big concern for Indian consumers."
East Coast exporters of containerized scrap who rely heavily on Indian demand speculated that market activity could remain thin for a few weeks.
One called this weeks export market to India "dead," while another said "export is AWOL."
U.S. sources reported East Coast f.a.s. values for shredded scrap in a wide bid range of $340 to $357 per tonne.
Only one market participant was upbeat. "I have not heard of any major sales from the USA to India. However, Indian sentiments have just started to pick up a bit, and I assume most buyers will be back in the market by the end of December or the beginning of January," the India-based importer said.