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Bulk ferrous scrap sales send prices down

Keywords: Tags  ferrous scrap, scrap exports, Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — U.S. bulk ferrous scrap export prices were pushed lower Jan. 23 after a Turkish mill booked two cargoes from the East Coast, ending a nearly two-week lull in activity.

Market participants said a single mill traded with two different U.S. exporters at identical price levels, and reportedly bought a third cargo from Europe.

Sources said the two U.S. bulk cargoes were sold at $401 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt, indicating a $4- to $6-per-tonne drop from the last U.S. cargoes sold to Turkey, which traded in a range of $405 to $407 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20) earlier this month.

Sources said both cargoes will be a mix of heavy melt, shred and bonus scrap. Shred in both cargoes sold for $406 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey, while bonus scrap (plate and structural) sold at $411 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey.

The sales confirmed recent speculation that some Turkish mills would return to the market this week (, Jan. 22). U.S. offers were reported in a range of $405 to $410 per tonne earlier this week, and the Jan. 23 trades indicate that buyers had the upper hand in negotiations.

Market sources were uncertain about whether prices could weaken further, with one exporter speculating that prices could move down a dollar or two and a second saying $401 per tonne was a reasonable price level, given that Turkish rebar sales stood at about $605 per tonne this week.

Two bulk sales also were reported out of Europe. One cargo carrying heavy melt, shred and bonus scrap was sold at an average price of $402 to $405 per tonne to the same mill that bought the two cargoes from the United States, but with no confirmation on price from either the buyer or the seller.

Two market participants said another bulk cargo was booked out of the United Kingdom to a different mill in Turkey. The cargo reportedly will include 18,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20), 5,000 tonnes of shred and 5,000 tonnes of bonus grade sold at $404, $414 and $424 per tonne, respectively, according to the sources.

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