NEW YORK Prices for bulk
ferrous scrap exports to Turkey gained a few dollars this week
as Turkish mills returned to the market to fill
At least seven bulk cargoes have
sold to five Turkish producers since March 7, with the United
States accounting for three of those sales and the United
Kingdom and continental Europe booking two each.
A sixth Turkish producer has yet
to announce the result of a March 12 tender, which many sources
believe was won by a British exporter.
U.S. East Coast exporters had
sought much larger price increases, with offers reported in a
range of $405 to $415 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for an 80/20 mix
of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt.
However, the three U.S. bulk
sales to Turkey concluded over the past few days fell short of
that range, with up to $4-per-tonne increases in delivered
prices, according to several market sources.
A closer look at the sales
reveals a sideways move on an f.o.b. basis due to increased
bulk freight costs, according to some sources.
One bulk cargo of about 40,000
tonnes was booked out of the Gulf Coast March 7 at $408 per
tonne c.i.f. Turkey for HMS 1&2 (80:20), with shredded
scrap at $413, and plate and structural scrap at $418, market
sources said. The price was about $3 per tonne higher than the
last Gulf Coast bulk sale concluded by the same exporter in
late February. However, bulk freight rates have risen by nearly
the same amount since that sale, one source said.
A second bulk sale was concluded
off the East Coast, with around 20,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2
(80:20) and 10,000 tonnes of shredded scrap sold at an average
price of $406 per tonne, sources said.
A third cargo to Turkey from the
East Coast, booked by a broker in the third week of February,
was at an average price of $405 per tonne for 35,000 tonnes of
HMS 1&2 (90:10) and 5,000 tonnes of plate and structural
scrap, according to a second source. That price is about $5
higher than the brokers original buying price.
"I guess European HMS 1&2
(80:20) must be today max between $390 and $395," the source
said. "(The) market is losing its heat, (and) $390 to $395 is
only mathematic. (The) Turks will step out again and next
prices will be lower. (The) goal is $380."
Despite exporters apparent
inability to score larger price increases, there could still be
some hope for them, a third source suggested.
"My gut feeling is that for the
short term, the tug-of-war might be won by the (United
States)," he said. "(The U.S. utilization rate) is improving
month on month, and scrap collections are still short. The
increment in dock pricing has not been reflected on f.o.b.
export prices yet."
Trading slowed during the first
week of March and only gained momentum after U.S. domestic
markets settled late last week, according to a source in
"It started very slow," he said.
"There were only rumors that U.S. market prices would be higher
than $400. There was no seller in the market shopping around.
On March 7, mills started to check the availability of