SINGAPORE Some mills in
Southeast Asia appear to be short of ferrous scrap after the
Lunar New Year holiday.
Traders have received more
inquiries in the past week for prompt cargoes at a time when
offers were scarce, pushing up prices.
Bulk cargo offer
pricesbasis 50-percent No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt (80:20)
and 50-percent shreddedfrom the United States and Europe
to Vietnam have risen by $10 per tonne in just a few days to
$435 to $440 per tonne c.f.r. Feb. 22, a Vietnamese trader told
AMM sister publication Steel First.
There were inquiries from a
couple of mills looking for March cargoes, he said, but because
there were few offers of material in containers, some buyers
became nervous because "it seemed too late to get a reasonable
A Singapore-based importer
agreed that offers were limited at the moment, and earlier
speculation that scrap prices would soften after the weeklong
New Year holiday was not realized. "There seemed to be some
panic as the expected softening of scrap prices after the
Chinese New Year did not happen," he said. "Steel mills now
have to accept that the price is unlikely to go south, and some
have no choice but to offer slightly higher prices to secure
scrap to meet their requirements."
Chinese steel mills remained on
the sidelines after scrap offers moved higher than their
"We are looking to book scrap at
around $415 per tonne c.f.r. from the overseas markets, but
offers are much higher than that," a Shagang Group source said.
"Adequate stocks at the mill and ample supply from the domestic
market allow Shagang to wait for a while."
"Other Asian steel mills may be
more desperate to restock scrap by importing, but China is
better off with its cheaper domestic supply," the source
Domestic heavy scrap prices in eastern China remained at
2,850 to 2,960 yuan ($453 to $471) per tonne Feb. 22, unchanged
from prices before the holiday.
A version of this article was first
published by AMM sister publication Steel