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Bulk scrap export prices fall after two sales

Keywords: Tags  ferrous scrap, scrap exports, heavy melt, shredded scrap, Turkish steelmakers, HMS 1&2, Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — U.S. ferrous scrap export prices for bulk cargoes are under pressure this week after a sale from the Gulf Coast and a second out of Canada were booked at values well below previous levels.

The cargoes were booked Jan. 31 by separate Turkish steelmakers after negotiating scrap values at some $8 per tonne below prior U.S. transactions on Jan. 23, market sources said.

A 40,000-tonne Gulf Coast cargo divided evenly between an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt and plate and structural scrap was booked at $397 per tonne and $407 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey, respectively, sources said. While this represents a $4-per-tonne decline from the prior sales at $401 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from the East Coast (, Jan. 23), sources noted that the freight premium out of the Gulf Coast was about another $4 per tonne. That points to a weakening of about $8 per tonne in bulk export prices to Turkey over the past eight days.

Sources also reported a 50,000-tonne cargo sale out of Canada at an average price of $393 per tonne for 35,000 tonnes of shredded scrap, 10,000 tonnes of No. 1 heavy melt and 5,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (90:10).

Although the price appears low, one source said he believes the shredded portion was sold at a price equivalent to HMS 1&2 (80:20) because of the large tonnage of shredded scrap in the cargo.

"I think the price appears low due to two reasons: late shipment and 35,000 tonnes of shredded," he said. "The quantity of shred is too much. They (likely) sold it at the HMS 1&2 (80:20) price."

Some sources in the United States and Turkey said the market is under pressure.

"The market is apparently weaker because Turks have been holding back and the U.S. domestic market is looking sideways to down for February. So currently there are more sellers than buyers from Turkey or elsewhere," one U.S. exporter said.

"It is a weak market," one Turkish source said. "Also, the winter didn’t come and collecting never slowed down as anticipated. I think we have a little more room to go."

The market will look for the results of an anticipated Feb. 1 scrap tender to get a better idea on the direction of price levels, a second source in Turkey said.

"Turkey needs to buy scrap," he said. "If they postpone the purchases, prices may decrease. If they continue to buy, there will be stabilization. The most important issue is how many available cargoes (the United States has)."

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