NEW YORK East Coast bulk
ferrous scrap exports remain at a standstill as a weak finished
product market in Turkey keeps the countrys largest
offshore scrap consumer at bay.
Turkish mill buyers failed to
return to the docks once the U.S. domestic market settled, as
had been anticipated, with market participants describing the
past few weeks as "dead," "quiet" or "boring."
A source in Turkey said some
mills had picked up small cargoes from neighboring shores, but
a majority of the mills remained inactive in scrap markets.
"Everybody wants a brave heart to come and buy a U.S. deep-sea
cargo to determine the market level," he said. "It is still so
quiet. Turkish mills are buying billets and local scrap in
order to postpone the deep-sea purchases."
It has been more than three
weeks since the United States last exported a cargo to Turkey
at around $400 per tonne for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2
heavy melt, and sources expect prices could come off in the
next wave of trading.
It seems like Turkish buyers
"have gone to sleep," one U.S. exporter said. "My agent tells
me the inventories at most of the steel mills are very low and
they will need to jump into the market shortly. I am shocked
nothing happened over the past weekend. I figure they will come
in all at once and buy seven to 10 cargoes minimum. My guess is
the heavy melt price will be $390 to $395 for 80/20."
However, a second exporter said
Turkeys absence isnt unusual. "It isnt odd at
all. Whats happening is youve got trouble selling
finished product. The reality is, if they needed the material
theyd buy it. I think it depends on how fast sellers
break, because now (Turkish mills) are offering rebar at $595
A third exporter agreed, saying
Turkish mills only look at the sales side. "Scrap is not what
they are looking for or interested in. I guess they expect
further decreases. Therefore, there is no activity at all and
is so ... boring. I even heard rebar quotes at $590 today," he
said April 8.
A second source in Turkey said
mills were struggling to sell deformed rebar even at less than
$600 per tonne and hot-rolled coil apparently at the same
level. "No sale of final product; no big demand for scrap.
(hot-rolled coil) producers are buying slab from Europe. This
makes demand for scrap less. Also, summer is coming and
difficulties for scrap procurement will ease due to winter
conditions being over," he said.
The absence of any bulk sale
left AMMs East Coast Ferrous Scrap
Export Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) unchanged April 8 at
$375.58 per tonne f.o.b. New York for a third consecutive
On the West Coast, one exporter
reportedly sold two bulk cargoes this past week to consumers in
Asia. A cargo to a mill in South Korea reportedly traded at
$407.50 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20), while the second
cargo of the same product went to Malaysia at $413 per tonne,
several sources said.
Bulk freight rates have eased a
little over the past week, which offered exporters a better
shipping value for scrap, one market participant said.
AMMs West Coast
Export Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled April 8 at
$374.83 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles, up 0.6 percent from
$372.63 per tonne a week earlier.