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Bulk scrap export prices slide on weak demand

Keywords: Tags  ferrous scrap, AMM ferrous export index, Sean Davidson

ISTANBUL — U.S. bulk ferrous scrap export prices slipped on the East and West coasts last week as weak demand from key countries deflated support for previous levels.

Only two U.S. bulk sales were reported to Turkey last week as Turkish mills remained mostly absent from U.S. and European markets.

A single exporter sold both bulk cargoes via tender. The East Coast cargo was booked Feb. 1 at $391 per tonne for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt c.i.f. Turkey and $402 per tonne for plate and structural scrap, market participants said. The previous day, a bulk sale was booked out of the Gulf Coast at $397 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20) and $407 per tonne for plate and structural scrap (, Jan. 31), with an additional $4- to $5-per-tonne freight cost over current East Coast levels, sources said.

In addition, a third Turkish mill booked a 50,000-tonne cargo from Canada on Jan. 31 at a composite price of $393 per tonne for 35,000 tonnes of shred, 10,000 tonnes of No. 1 heavy melt and 5,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (90:10).

All three trades were significantly under previous bulk sales booked at $401 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20).

Minimal action off the East Coast, a steep decline in prices and another slight increase in bulk freight rates sent weekly prices down nearly $9 per tonne, and AMM’s East Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled Monday at $368.24 per tonne f.o.b. New York, down 2.3 percent from $377.10 previously.

A near-absence of overseas demand on the West Coast brought a four-week price climb to a halt. Late confirmations on three bulk cargoes sold to China over the weekend of Jan. 26 at slightly lower tags sent West Coast values down about $5 per tonne, and AMM’s West Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled Monday at $386.83 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles, down 1.3 percent from $391.81 previously.

West Coast sources said a single exporter sold the three cargoes to China in a price range of $421 to $424 per tonne on an HMS 1&2 (80:20) basis.

Market participants expect West Coast exports to grind to a near-complete halt as regional activity in Asia breaks for China’s Lunar New Year holiday.

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